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pable of as a player- Kobe Bryant (@kobebryant) August 8, 2016Combine that moment with Venezu

The future of Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal has been the subject of continued speculation all season, but the Dutchman has continued to come up with timely answers to his critics again and again. Seahawks Hats . Manchester Uniteds 2-1 FA Cup quarter-final triumph at West Ham was just the latest, easing the pressure after the weekends heavy defeat at Tottenham hit Van Gaals hopes of a top-four finish. Here we look back at seven times Van Gaal and his Manchester United players have pulled off a big result, just when they needed it most...  Saturday, October 17Everton 0-3 Manchester UnitedUnited made a confident start to the season - undefeated in their opening 12 matches in all competitions under Van Gaal - but supporters questioned the Dutchmans tactics and style of play. Wayne Rooney was happy to have ended his six game goal-scoring drought at former club Everton His first test arrived after Arsenal blew them away with a 3-0 win at the Emirates, but Ander Herrera came to Van Gaals rescue at Goodison Park a week later.The Spaniard scored one and made another for Wayne Rooney in an impressive victory.Rooneys goal - a first on the road in the league in 11 months - capped a United performance far removed from their meek display at Arsenal. Van Gaal hailed his sides performance at Goodison Park United were composed on the ball, organised without it and all-round value for a result that kept them two points off neighbours Manchester City.Van Gaal praised Uniteds fantastic response while Soccer Saturday pundit Matt Le Tissier hailed their professionalism after a tough couple of weeks. Matt Le Tissier praised Uniteds professionalism at Everton From the moment United got that second goal, they never looked troubled. They were so solid defensively. David de Gea had to make two saves all game.It was a really professional away performance in the Premier League, and they looked really, really comfortable.Saturday, January 2Manchester United 2-1 Swansea CityAfter United were dumped out of the Champions League with a 3-2 defeat at Wolfsburg, they suffered three consecutive Premier League defeats against Bournemouth, Norwich and Stoke.Chants of Jose Mourinho rang around Old Trafford following the Norwich loss and the pressure seemed to be getting to Van Gaal who hit back at journalists in his pre-Boxing Day press conference asking them to apologise to him for reporting about his future. Van Gaal admits sack fears Louis van Gaal admitted his position at Manchester United was under scrutiny after Norwich defeat His side put on an improved display in a goalless draw at home to Chelsea on December 28 - but still no win.With the heat intensifying, United finally ended their eight-match winless run with a 2-1 victory over Swansea at Old Trafford. Mourinho and Man Utd Jose Mourinho and Man Utd are the talk of football; heres a timeline since he left Chelsea It looked like being another frustrating afternoon for the hosts when the Swans equalised with 20 minutes to go through Gylfi Sigurdsson, but Wayne Rooney ended his two-month drought and became the second-highest scorer in both Premier League and Manchester United history with the winner. Rooney ended his two-month drought against Swansea Soccer Saturday pundit Paul Merson said it was paramount that Rooney had to stay fit if United were to finish in the top four.Rooney played quite well and he was always involved. If United can get Rooney playing well theyll get in the top four. If they dont, they wont.Sunday, January 17Liverpool 0-1 Manchester UnitedA week later they progressed to the fourth round of the FA Cup thanks to Rooneys stoppage-time penalty over League One side Sheffield United, but Van Gaal quickly found himself under the magnifying glass as Paul Dummett rescued a dramatic late point for Newcastle against them in a thrilling 3-3 draw.They headed to Liverpool six days later and Paul Merson felt defeat would render Van Gaals position untenable.Considering how big this match is and what could happen to the league table after Saturdays results, I just dont see how he could get away with defeat, said Merson. It could be the straw that breaks the camels back. LVG: We can still win title Van Gaal discussed Uniteds title hopes in January But De Gea kept a rampant Liverpool side at bay and then Rooney ended an 11-year wait for an Anfield goal to snatch a dramatic win on Super Sunday.Van Gaal said his side could still win the title but former great Peter Schmeichel dismissed their chances. Uniteds goalkeeping legend Peter Schmeichel dismissed their hopes of winning the Premier League Friday, January 29Derby County 1-3 Manchester UnitedA week after the Liverpool win, United suffered a 1-0 defeat to Southampton with Charlie Austins late winner at Old Trafford condemning United to their sixth Premier League defeat of the season.Van Gaal was booed by a section of home supporters as he left the field after the final whistle, and his stock appeared to be at an all-time low with the Red Devils sitting five points adrift of fourth-placed Tottenham.Sources at the club told Sky Sports News HQ the under-fire manager did not offer his resignation in the wake of the game, despite reports in the press to the contrary. Van Gaal reacted angrily to a question about the freedom his players Step forward Rooney once again. The skipper opened the scoring against Derby County with a beautiful curling effort to help United to an emphatic FA Cup fourth-round win. It was his sixth goal in six games, having scored two in his previous 13. Daley Blind and the returning Juan Mata finished off the Rams.But the media were still relentless. In his post-match news conference, the United boss reacted angrily to a question from a journalist about the freedom of his players.And pundit Charlie Nicholas felt the pressure was still very much on the Dutchman.Is the pressure off now? No, not until they get a fluency in their game, said the former Arsenal striker.Sunday, February 28Manchester United 3-2 Arsenal Marcus Rashford was the hero in Old Trafford win over Arsenal Things got worse as Van Gaal endured a shock defeat at Sunderland and then suffered more misery in the Europa League with a 2-1 loss at FC Midtjylland. United recovered to reach the FA quarter-finals by overcoming Shrewsbury before teenage sensation Marcus Rashford scored twice on his debut as United beat Midtjylland 5-1 to qualify for the last 16 of the Europa League with a 6-3 aggregate victory. LVG: Rashford unbelievable Louis van Gaal hailed the unbelievable impact of Marcus Rashford Van Gaal was grateful to Rashford again just three days later as the prodigious young striker scored twice on his Premier League debut to help them to a sensational win over Arsenal at Old Trafford and gain revenge for their Emirates hammering earlier in the season. Rashfords fairytale continued as he scored twice on his Premier League debut The Dutchman hailed the unbelievable impact of Rashford after the win and explained the need for his side to play at a quicker tempo.The key factor is always that you dare to play and we can play very good but we have to move the ball more quickly and we have to switch the game more frequently. The two goals that we scored in the first half were through the switching of the game.That we have improved because we did it, in this game in any case, but we have to do it more I think. Thats the key I think and also that we are defending like a team.Sunday, March 20Manchester City 0-1 Manchester United Rashford scored the derby winner United struggled to beat Watford and then Juan Mata was sent off as Uniteds top-four hopes suffered a setback with a 1-0 defeat at West Brom.Their Europa League dreams were shattered by bitter rivals Liverpool and Van Gaal seemed to be running out of time.Heading into the Manchester derby Van Gaal admitted that they had fallen below expectations this season.I think for four months [the press] have been writing that I shall be sacked, or not? Four months already. Do you think that is logical or normal? LVG: Weve not met expectations Louis van Gaal has admitted that Manchester United have fallen below expectations Expectations can be too high. Our purpose was to reach the top three because we wanted to do a bit better than last year.Yes [we have fallen below expectations], but then you have to analyse the circumstances, how I have to work. I am never feeling that I am under pressure. I do what I have to do. The men from Old Trafford atoned for the Liverpool loss by ending a miserable March with Manchester bragging rights and United academy product Rashford all but ending Citys title hopes with victory at the Etihad Stadium to appease fans - for a while at least.Wednesday, April 13West Ham 1-2 Manchester United Rashford has proven to be Van Gaals saviour Anthony Martial sealed a tight 1-0 victory over Everton at the start of the month, but United suffered a relapse at White Hart Lane.Their team bus got caught in severe traffic en route from their central London hotel and although they started brightly, Tottenham burst into life with three goals in a rampant six-minute spell in the second half to puncture Uniteds top four hopes. Not a job for Mourinho? How the success of Louis van Gaals youngsters could undermine Jose Mourinhos job prospects On Wednesday night Van Gaal did keep alive his hopes of silverware as his side bounced back with another Rashord-inspired win - this time over the Hammers in their FA quarter-final replay at Upton Park.Rashford and Fellaini helped them earn the victory in a match where Rooney made his return as a late substitute but once again, their talented young players stole the limelight. Youngsters boost LVG Uniteds youngsters impressed to ease the pressure on LVG After the match, Van Gaal reiterated his desire to win a trophy, saying: That is what I came here to do.Even lifting the FA Cup may not be enough to keep Van Gaal in his job, but if he does survive, he will look back at these seven key wins which have kept him in the Old Trafford hot-seat. Also See: Van Gaal: I want a trophy Fellaini sends Man Utd through Rooney returns as late sub Not a job for Mourinho? 12th Fan Jersey .J. Jefferson has been charged with assaulting his girlfriend. Kam Chancellor Seahawks Jersey . Vettel, who has already clinched his fourth straight F1 title, enters the finale with a chance to equal Michael Schumachers 13 victories in a year and match the record of nine consecutive wins by Alberto Ascari in the 1952 and 1953 seasons. . -- If Henry Burris has his way, he will be the starting quarterback to lead the Hamilton Tiger-Cats back to the Grey Cup next year. RIO DE JANEIRO -- Theres no getting around it for your internationally known Committee (of One).It was precisely 12 days ago in this cyberspace when we wrote that the United States would romp to the gold in Olympic mens basketball.And we flat-out got it wrong.Team USA is the only undefeated team left in the tournament at 5-0 ... but there has been precious little romping to date for the red, white and blue.Yet theres a happy consolation for everyone in the wake of our original, less-than-flawless forecast: This tournament has flung so many curveballs at us already that we had to come back with an updated edition of ESPN.coms Olympic Hoops Power Rankings heading into Wednesdays quarterfinals.So here, then, is our latest 1-to-12 diagnosis of the competition, with each countrys original ranking in parentheses:1. UNITED STATES (1)Close games in the Olympics for Team USA are not new. The new part is seeing Team USA scramble in the fourth quarter in three straight games, which suggests the group is making little progress in the wake of each scare.Throughout their first few weeks together, several of the American stars spoke repeatedly about how much they enjoyed playing defense, but major slippage at the un-fun end against Australia, Serbia and France dropped them to a hard-to-fathom fifth overall in the competition in terms of defensive efficiency entering the medal round.The alarm bells, not surprisingly, are thus ringing pretty loudly, amid a growing belief in basketball circles that this squad -- by all accounts far stronger than the group that dominated the 2014 FIBA World Cup in Spain and still a 1-to-20 runaway favorite, according to the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook -- could actually lose. I still say they end up grabbing gold, but its looking more and more as if itll have to be the offense that carries Team USA over the line.2. AUSTRALIA (8)It has been a while since the Committee (of One) missed on a team so badly. As one Aussie insider whispered to us after seeing the Boomers down at No. 8 when the tournament began: These tournaments are won with heart and grit and you clearly underestimated how much this group has been building toward this for years.Our informant went on to insist that no national team in the world wants a basketball medal more than the Aussies, who have never medaled in mens basketball. Theres obviously no way to accurately measure that, but the inspiration behind the claim is easy to understand: Australia truly believes it never has had a better shot at a top-three spot after drubbing favored France in its Olympic opener and playing the United States so tough following an impressive win over Serbia.Deep down, though, Australia has to be jittery as it heads into the first of Wednesdays four quarterfinals, because one off night (or morning) in the first game of the knockout round can ruin everything. Led by Patty Mills (20.5 PPG), Andrew Bogut (13.0 PPG, 5.8 RPG, 4.0 APG) and Matthew Dellavedova (8.6 APG), Australia had the third-most efficient offense and No. 2 defense in pool play. But it desperately needs at least one more win, specifically Wednesday over Lithuania, to truly hush any peaked-too-soon talk.3. SPAIN (2)In a tournament pleasantly (and unexpectedly) filled with surprises, Spains 0-2 start scores as high on the shock meter as anything weve seen. Yet we couldnt bear to drop Pau Gasol?& Co. more than a spot from our pre-Olympics ladder, because this is still the team that USA Basketball staffers privately fear the most.Its not just Spains pedigree that has the Americans attention, either. A team routinely dismissed as too old, by yours truly as much as anyone, just beat Lithuania and Argentina by a combined 69 points after the stunning early slipups to Croatia and Brazil.With brother Marc Gasol unavailable through injury, Pau has averaged nearly 20 and 9 and, at age 36, looks as dangerous internationally as ever. Group A was widely regarded as the weaker of the two groups coming into Olympic play, but theres nothing easy about Team USAs path to the gold-medal game now, with either Spain or France waiting in the semifinals provided Mike Krzyzewskis squad prevails Wednesday night.4. FRANCE (3)Even before the quarterfinal pairings were made official, France coach Vincent Collet had a premonition that his country would be drawn against Spain in the final eight. Its a habit for us, Collet quipped.France indeed stunned Spain -- in Spain -- in the quarterfinals of the 2014 FIBA World Cup. Spain then avenged that loss, in France, in the semifinals of the 2015 Eurobasket. Wednesdays third installment in the series will send the winner to a likely semifinal showdown with the United States, while eliminating one of the pre-tournament favorites earlier than expected.Collet says he still has no explanation for the hammering France absorbed from Australia in the tournament opener -- We didnt play as a team that day and I dont know why, he said -- but has to be heartened by the way his team has rebounded. Sundays three-point loss to the United States came without Tony Parker, who will certainly play on that bruised toe in the quarters against Frances longtime Spanish rivals.5. SERBIA (5)All the focus back home is naturally on the Team USA crisis, if we can call it that, but the quarterfinals are truly headlined by a showdown of European powers (Spain vs. France) and a matchup that throws bitter rivals Serbia and Croatia onto the same floor for a spot in the final four.The Serbs, furthermore, played so well in their Friday night date with the United States that its easy to forget they lost the three most significant games they played in Group A, falling to France by one and Australia by 15 in addition to the 94-91 heartbreaker against the heavy, heavy Olympic favorites.I guess were as guilty as anyone, frankly, of buying into tthe Serbs potential after a firsthand look at how they hung with Team USA, because were firmly predicting a Serbia derby win despite the preceding paragraph. 12th Fan Womens Jersey. The truth is, those of us watching cant lose either way, because we get to see Bogdan Bogdanovic square off against Croatias Bojan Bogdanovic in an irresistible battle for Slavic surname supremacy.6. CROATIA (9)Its conceivable that were being too hard on the Croats. Very conceivable once you point out that they upset Spain in the teams Group B opener, courtesy of Dario Sarics win-clinching rejection at the rim of Pau Gasol, and the fact that they actually won the group that also housed Spain, Lithuania, Argentina and Brazil.However ...The Committee cant resist docking Croatia for its loss to Nigeria, which was as hard to believe as anything that has happened in Rio since these Olympics began. Bojan Bogdanovic (24.8 PPG) and the Dario & Mario (Hezonja) Show can really only avenge that slipup, at least with us, by overcoming a long history of painful defeats against the old enemy.7. LITHUANIA (4)The Lithuanians have made it a habit of their own over the years to A) cause Team USA numerous problems and B) get stronger as major tournaments dribble on. But the quality of their play has actually declined since an impressive 3-0 start in Group B, which makes it rather likely that Lithuania will never make it onto the same floor with the Yanks in Rio after tormenting them at the 2012 London Olympics.Following wins over Brazil, Nigeria and Argentina, Lithuania was drilled by the desperate Spaniards by 50 -- yes, fiddy -- before a loss to Croatia in Monday nights Group B finale, when a win could have clinched first place in the group.The quarterfinal matchup with Australia pits perhaps the two grittiest teams in the field against each other for a spot in the final four, but Charles Barkleys favorite foreign center, Torontos Jonas Valanciunas,?will have to do much more against Bogut and Aron Baynes than he did against Pau Gasol in the debacle against Spain.8. ARGENTINA (6)Argentinas traveling band of fans is so good that Wednesdays quarterfinal meeting with the United States is sure to be entertaining ... even if the aging underdogs cant really hang.Team USA won by a breezy 37 points when the teams met in July in an exhibition in Las Vegas, and, given the choice between facing Argentina and its many 30-somethings or feisty and unpredictable Croatia, its a safe bet that the Americans, whether theyll ever admit it, are quietly pleased that the Croatians beat Lithuania on Monday night to avoid that assignment.Manu Ginobili, Luis Scola, Andres Nocioni and Carlos Delfino surely want to put on a good show in what is widely expected to be their final significant game for Argentinas proud and historic national team. Yet you only have to read our Tuesday morning postcard, filled with good insights from Ginobili and Scola, to understand how big the challenge looks to the Argentinean legends themselves.(Editors note: All four teams below have been eliminated from the competition.)9. BRAZIL (7)The hosts stunned Spain. They played a huge part in the game of this Olympiad by dueling longtime regional rivals Argentina for two overtimes before succumbing, 111-107. And yet they still ultimately validated all of our pre-tournament fears about their age and other shortcomings.Remember how we had Brazil down at No. 7 coming into the competition? Going 2-3 was all too predictable and presumably brings a sad end to an era headlined by Committee favorites such as?Leandro Barbosa and Marcelinho Huertas.Hard to watch.10. NIGERIA (10)The Committee, for the record, is still trying to arrange our must-have Olympic selfie with former Cal State Fullerton standout Josh Akognon, who made his fellow Titan Tech alumni so proud by earning a spot on this roster and scoring 16 points in Nigerias Group B finale against Brazil.Thats the unfinished business portion of Nigerias memorable trip to South America.Despite falling short of its dream to become the first African nation to advance to the single-elimination portion of the mens basketball tournament, Nigeria did get a lot done here, recording an unforgettable win over Croatia and giving mighty Spain quite a scare.11. VENEZUELA (11)With its only recognizable name unavailable throughout injury, leading scorer John Cox did the sidelined Greivis Vasquez and all of their countrymen proud by eliciting this memorable tweet from his cousin Kobe Bryant during Venezuelas game attempts to hang with the United States:Unbelievable feeling watching my lil coz @zipzero33 on @NBCSports vs @usabasketball showing the world what he is capable of as a player- Kobe Bryant (@kobebryant) August 8, 2016Combine that moment with Venezuelas victory over China in the only winnable game it had on its Rio schedule, and you can only conclude that La Vinotinto hit their Olympic ceiling.12. CHINA (12)You were warned here going in that China had the weakest team in the 12-nation draw. So you shouldnt have been surprised to see that former NBA lottery pick Yi Jianlian didnt have nearly enough help to make the Committee eat its words a la Australia.Of course, as always in basketball-obsessed China, much more was expected back home in spite of our caution. An 0-5 showing in Rio -- more specifically Chinas failure to handle Venezuela in the only winnable game on its schedule -- hasnt been well-received.The good news: China has two-plus years to make strides before hosting the next FIBA World Cup in 2019. The bad news: Its bound to be treated as a full-blown national embarrassment in that 32-team event if the Chinese cant manufacture at least something resembling success or progress. Cheap NFL Jerseys Cheap NFL Jerseys China Cheap Jerseys From China Cheap NFL Jerseys Authentic Wholesale Jerseys China Cheap NFL Jerseys China NFL Cheap Jerseys Cheap NFL Jerseys ' ' '