1 Mar
2021

Following path of genetic footprint

first_imgAn international team of researchers studying DNA patterns from modern and archaic humans has uncovered new clues about the movement and intermixing of populations more than 40,000 years ago in Asia.Using state-of-the-art genome analysis methods, scientists from Harvard Medical School (HMS) and the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, have found that Denisovans — a recently identified group of archaic humans whose DNA was extracted last year from a finger bone excavated in Siberia — contributed DNA not just to present-day New Guineans, but also to aboriginal Australian and Philippine populations.The study demonstrates that contrary to the findings of the largest previous genetic studies, modern humans settled Asia in more than one migration. According to David Reich, a professor of genetics at HMS, “Denisova DNA is like a medical imaging dye that traces a person’s blood vessels. It is so recognizable that you can detect even a little bit of it in one individual. In a similar way, we were able to trace Denisova DNA in the migrations of people. This shows the power of sequencing ancient DNA as a tool for understanding human history.”The patterns the researchers found can only be explained by at least two waves of human migration: the first giving rise to the aboriginal populations that currently live in Southeast Asia and Oceania, and later migrations giving rise to relatives of East Asians who now are the primary population of Southeast Asia.The study also provides new insights about where the ancient Denisovans lived. According to Mark Stoneking, a professor at the Max Planck Institute who is senior author of the paper, Denisovans must have inhabited an extraordinarily large ecological and geographic range, from Siberia to tropical Southeast Asia. “The fact that Denisovan DNA is present in some aboriginal populations of Southeast Asia but not in others shows that there was a checkerboard of populations with and without Denisova material more than 44,000 years ago,” he said. “The presence of Denisovan genetic material in some but not all the groups there can most easily be explained if Denisovans lived in Southeast Asia itself.”The findings appear on Sept. 22 in The American Journal of Human Genetics.This research builds on previous work by Reich and colleagues at the Max Planck Institute, in which they analyzed an ancient pinky bone uncovered by Russian archaeologists in the Siberian Denisova Cave in 2008. The Max Planck Institute team led by Svante Pääbo sequenced the bone’s nuclear genome, and Reich led the population genetic analysis using algorithms that he and colleagues developed.Reporting December 2010 in Nature, the team identified Denisovans as a distinct group of archaic humans (hominins) who lived more than 30,000 years ago and contributed genes to present-day New Guineans. The researchers concluded that Denisovans were neither Neanderthals nor early modern humans, though they shared a common ancestry.This paper helped fill in some empty pieces in the evolutionary puzzle that began after early humans left Africa and reinforces the view that humans have intermixed throughout history.Genetic footprintsThe new study was initiated by Stoneking, an expert on genetic variation in Southeast Asia and Oceania who has assembled diverse samples from that region. The study takes a closer look at the Denisovans’ genetic footprint. The researchers analyzed DNA from dozens of present-day populations in Southeast Asia and Oceania, including Borneo, Fiji, Indonesia, Malaysia, Australia, the Philippines, Papua New Guinea, and Polynesia. Some of the data already existed, and some were newly collected for the study.Their analysis shows that, in addition to New Guineans, Denisovans contributed genetic material to Australian aborigines, a Philippine “Negrito” group called Mamanwa, and several other populations in eastern Southeast Asia and Oceania. However, groups in the west or northwest, including other Negrito groups such as the Onge in the Andaman Islands and the Jehai in Malaysia, as well as mainland East Asians, did not interbreed with Denisovans.The researchers concluded that:• Denisovans interbred with modern humans in Southeast Asia at least 44,000 years ago before the time of the separation of the Australians and New Guineans.• Southeast Asia was first colonized by modern humans unrelated to present-day Chinese and Indonesians, and that these and other East Asians arrived in later migrations. This “southern route” hypothesis has previously been supported by archaeological evidence, but has never had strong genetic support.Investigators from the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT, Germany, India, Taiwan, Japan, Malaysia, and the Netherlands also contributed. This study was funded by the Max Planck Society and the National Science Foundation HOMINID program.last_img read more

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1 Mar
2021

Harvard men’s basketball moves past Cincinnati, 61-57

first_imgSPOKANE, Wash. — Siyani Chambers scored five of his 11 points in the final 1:58 to lift the 12th-seeded Harvard men’s basketball team to a 61-57 win over fifth-seeded Cincinnati in the second round of the NCAA tournament on Thursday.With Thursday’s win, Harvard improves to 27-4 overall, setting a new program record for wins in a season. The Crimson also becomes the first Ivy League team to win an NCAA tournament game in consecutive seasons since Princeton did so in 1983 and 1984. For full coverage of the game, including a video recap.Harvard will now face No. 4 Michigan State on Saturday at 8:40 p.m. EST live on TNT. For coverage of Saturday’s game, visit the Crimson’s Tournament Central website.last_img

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20 Dec
2020

Security Forces Conduct Offensive; Neutralize Taliban IED Facilities

first_imgBy Dialogo November 19, 2010 I really liked the articles about the IEDs. I understand how critical the artifacts problem is in Afghanistan, because I have a good friend from my Control Risk days who is working there. I fear that, sooner than we think, we might find one of those on the streets of Rio de Janeiro. After all, criminals could see how society reacted to the terrorist acts and can use even more sophisticated techniques. Since December, criminals have already “left behind” explosives in places with a lot of traffic just to send authorities a message. I fear the day they might actually detonate them. Afghan and coalition forces destroyed multiple Taliban improvised explosive device facilities in the Khash Rod district, Nimroz province. The security forces cleared personnel from the area before calling in an air strike to destroy the isolated compounds to ensure the facilities would not be re-utilized to store or produce IEDs. The joint security teams discovered the facilities during a series of operations lasting from the early hours of yesterday morning through this morning. “The offensive operation was conducted to flush out enemy fighters and deny them sanctuary,” according to U.S. Army Col. Rafael Torres, ISAF Joint Command Combined Joint Operations Center director. “The insurgents have historically gone underground during the winter months while relying on foreign fighters to continue the fight. We’re not about to allow them that luxury.” The compounds, which included nine separate structures, were being used as active IED facilities where Taliban members stored IED-making materials and trained local and foreign-fighter recruits on emplacing IEDs. The security force discovered two dozen bags of ammonium nitrate, multiple large IEDs, homemade explosives, recoilless rifle rounds and opium during the operation. The security forces also targeted two known Taliban leaders during the offensive active in the IED facilitation network in the area. The joint security teams searched more than 70 buildings as they conducted the operation throughout the day. Afghan forces used a loudspeaker to call all occupants to exit the buildings peacefully before searching the compounds. The joint teams peacefully detained numerous suspects based on initial questioning at the scene. “This operation was successful on several levels,” Torres said. “Not only did we interrupt further IED training in this area without any casualties, but we destroyed an array of IED-making materials as well. This time of year is a holy period for the Afghan citizens; anything we can do to further their safety during the Eid holiday is a win.” No women or children were injured or detained during this series of operations. The security members did not fire their weapons, nor was anyone injured during the extensive operations.last_img read more

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18 Dec
2020

LIRR Trains to Greenport Extended Through Thanksgiving Weekend

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Long Island Rail Road trains to Greenport will continue through Thanksgiving weekend instead of Columbus Day, allowing weekend warriors another six weeks to enjoy harvest season in North Fork farm country.MTA officials announced Monday that Greenport service will also start in early May instead of Memorial Day. May to November service is a change from the Memorial Day to Columbus Day schedule the LIRR set for the Greenport line to cut costs during a budget crisis three years ago.“Fall has become a very popular season on the North Fork,” said LIRR President Helena Williams. “We’re glad we can provide the extra service for our customers,”The East End and the North Fork especially are destination in autumn as day trippers flock to farm stands and wineries across the region.The added trains include a 10:35 a.m. or 3:37 p.m. eastbound train from the Ronkonkoma station to Greenport and a 1:11 p.m. and 6:11 p.m. westbound train back.For more information on LIRR service, call 511 or visit the LIRR’s website at www.mta.info/lirr.last_img read more

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18 Dec
2020

Hampton Bays Woman Killed in Head-on Crash

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York A 47-year-old woman was killed when a PSEG utility truck crossed into the opposite lane of traffic and crashed head-on with the SUV she was driving in Flanders on Thursday, police said.Barbara Tocci of Hampton Bays was driving her Ford Explorer northbound on Flanders Road when a southbound GMC utility truck collided with her SUV near the corner of Spinney Road, Southampton Town police said.Tocci was pronounced dead at the scene. Her body was taken to the Suffolk County Medical Examiner’s office, where an autopsy will be conducted.The PSEG truck driver, 53-year-old Michael Pepe of Bayport, was taken to Peconic Bays Medical Center, where he was treated for non-life-threatening injuries.Both vehicles were impounded while the investigation is continuing.New York State Police Forensic ID and Collision Reconstruction Unit investigators responded to assist Suffolk County District Attorney’s Vehicular Crimes Bureau detectives.No criminal charges are expected to be filed, police said.Southampton Town Detectives ask anyone who may have witnessed the crash to call them at 631-702-2230.last_img read more

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20 Oct
2020

Letters to the Editor for Saturday, Jan. 12

first_imgCervical cancer screening is covered for women with health insurance, including Medicaid and plans available through the New York State of Health. If you have insurance, talk to your doctor about cervical cancer screening. If you’re uninsured, call the Cancer Services Program today at 1-866-442-CANCER (2262) to find out if you qualify for free cancer screenings. In Fulton, Montgomery and Schenectady counties, you can call (518) 841-3726 for more information.Suzanne HagadornAmsterdamThe writer is the Program Coordinator, CSP of Fulton, Montgomery and Schenectady Counties. Include population in climate change fightIt appears that climate change is finally accepted by the majority of Americans, except for Republicans who persist in being climate deniers. However, the GOP and its party’s supporters are not the only people who resist taking decisive action on climate change. The recent reports generated by both the Fourth National Climate Assessment, compiled by 13 U.S. government agencies, as well as the publication from the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, failed to mention overpopulation as a major contributor to climate change.Despite the growing momentum supporting remedial action regarding climate change, overpopulation remains the unaddressed 800-pound gorilla in the room.  To further enhance confidence in our elections, voting rights need to be restored.  New national automatic voter registration and early voting are a must. As well, restoring the Voting Rights Act and ensuring election security will go a long way in building faith in our election systems.HR-1, Rep. Stefanik, will help curtail the criminal acts of corruption in our elections. Why won’t you vote for it?Larry FineGreenfield Cuomo belongs in jail, not governor’s officeI have listened a lot to what is basically the governor of New York City pontificating on many things. No doubt in my mind that Andy does not give a tinker’s damn about the rest of the state except to tax it to death to pay for a lot of his progressive nonsense. He most certainly has a way of maneuvering tax money around to satisfy his whims. The reasons why New York state is declining are many, and he has the audacity to say it’s our weather. Well, yes, the weather does contribute somewhat to the exodus, but there are many other factors in play. We get severely worked over and subject to the whims and laws of what are the problems and lifestyle of New York City. It’s a shame that a few square miles at the mouth of the Hudson River rules (aka ruins) this whole large state. Sell hiking passes for Adirondack peaksThe Adirondacks High Peaks are justifiably popular. Overuse has caused trail erosion and parking problems. Rescues are increasing. There aren’t enough rangers. A paid trail-pass system can help.Last fall, my wife and I visited the Gaspe region of Quebec and hiked in Gaspesie National Park. The park, like the Adirondacks, is a vast and beautiful mountainous area popular with hikers. Two visitor’s centers sell park passes and sell and rent hiking supplies. Staff assist visitors with trail- and weather information. The park charges $8.60 Canadian (about $6.60 U.S.) for an adult day pass. Seasonal passes are available. It’s an honor system, but a ranger may ask to see your receipt. Being caught without a trail pass could result in a fine. Expand technology for border securityAs of late there has been considerable debate between the Democratic leadership in Congress and President Trump about the use of a “wall” vs. the use of technical measures to provide border security. For once, I tend to agree with the Democrats. For centuries, castle walls and walled cities were used with great success to protect insiders against invaders. With the advent of gunpowder and cannons, however, the effectiveness of walls was significantly reduced.And over time, the effectiveness of technical measures has greatly increased. Over a century ago, during World War I, it was proven beyond a doubt that well-placed barbed wire, backed up by well-placed machine guns, could be extremely effective in repelling even the most massive of attacks of unarmored infantry. Let doctors help terminally ill to dieWhile you focused on key issues in Jan. 9’s Daily Gazette editorial, there’s another issue that deserves attention in the state Legislature at this time. That is the right to determine the terms of one’s own death.Confronting mortality is uncomfortable, but it’s inevitable. At this time, seven states and the District of Columbia have laws which permit PAD (Physician Aid in Dying) under certain conditions. People facing terminal illness and pain/suffering find comfort in knowing they can control their final days. As a volunteer for Final Exit Network, I have heard horror stories of prolonged and needless suffering.A bill to bring PAD to the citizens of New York has been in committee for several years. It’s time for that bill to come out of committee and before the Assembly and Senate. It has many protections, including requiring a diagnosis by two physicians of  someone having less than six months life expectancy. For those who support this final right, contact your state Assembly person and state senator in support of Medical Aid in Dying — Right to Die Bills. The right to control your own body at the end of life is the last civil right.Eleanor AronsteinSchenectady The silence of climate experts and most environmental groups about overpopulation is baffling, given their apparent commitment to preventing the destruction of our planet, including the demise of humans along with other species. Fear of offending others appears to be the most likely reason to avoid discussions about procreation. This avoidance will only hamstring efforts to address our climate crisis.Every individual should assess the “need” to reproduce and choose to remain child-free or to adopt children. For the sake of our children and the dwindling number of species which share our planet, we should place population stabilization as a primary means to mitigate climate change, along with other synergistic efforts to reduce carbon emissions. We all need to have the courage to begin discussions about this issue or ignore it at our own peril.Doreen HarrisScotia No reason not to test for cervical cancerYou may have heard that January is Cervical Cancer Awareness Month. You may have also heard the news that cervical cancer screening guidelines have changed. And while this is true, the underlying message remains the same: Women ages 21 to 65 should get screened to prevent cervical cancer or catch it in the early stages when treatment is most effective.Women without health insurance are much less likely to be screened (71 percent) when compared to women with health insurance (88 percent). The Cancer Services Program (CSP) of Fulton, Montgomery and Schenectady Counties can help. The CSP offers free cervical cancer screening to eligible, uninsured women, ages 40 and older. The program also provides free breast cancer screening to women 40 and older and colon cancer screening to uninsured men and women age 50 and older.  No need for a border wall; impeach TrumpI’ve been quiet for some time now in regard to the border wall. I had depended on it being built and have invested heavily in two companies, namely the Gill Co. and the Robbins Co.Gill is the maker of pole vault poles and the Robbins Co. handles tunnel-boring equipment. It just seems unfair that because of many sane people, they have put the kibosh on erecting the wall. It’s also so disturbing that four of our past presidents all told Mr. Trump it was a good idea. How do I know this? Because Pinocchio Trump said so. Is there no hope? Oh yes, impeachment.Please let me wake up from this two-year nightmare!Richard Moran Sr.Scotia Clinton Foundation is owed its due respectBill Denison’s Dec. 31 letter took Gazette editors to task for reporting that the Trump Foundation was a sham. Mr. Denison stated that they should also declare the Clinton Foundation a sham. Like so many Clinton deriders, a little unbiased research might separate facts from innuendo.  The state should establish a visitor’s center in Keene Valley to supplement the Adirondack Mountain Club visitor center at Adirondack Loj. Both places can provide trail information, offer maps, sell clothing and equipment, provide weather information and sell passes. Like a fishing or hunting license, being caught without a pass would result in a fine.In addition, trail heads should have informative signs that explain how long it takes an average hiker to reach various destinations and provide warnings about appropriate equipment and hazardous weather.Such a system could reduce rescues by dissuading unprepared or inexperienced hikers from going beyond their ability, equipment or supplies. The fees could raise funds for trail maintenance and more rangers. It would improve the Adirondack High Peaks visitor experience.William NechamenSchenectady But then the invaders at our southern border don’t seem to have access to cannons, at least not yet. And machine guns can be somewhat indiscriminate about whom they repel. So maybe a wall would be best after all.Jim MoorheadScotia Although the Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton Foundation has been extensively investigated for claims of improprieties during Hillary’s tenure as secretary of state and run for president, no major fault could be found.In 2015, CharityNavigator suspended rating the BHCCF for a 10-month investigation due to reported concerns, but followed up with a 4-star, (highest) rating with a “low concern” declaration. Other prominent websites have given the BHCCF excellent ratings, e.g. CharityWatch: A, (A+ highest), GuideStar: “platinum.”You can search the BHCCF in websites such as Wikipedia, PolitiFact and FactCheck.org to learn more. Unlike Trump’s now-legally defunct foundation, the Clintons have raised billions of dollars over the past 20 years that have been used for humanitarian projects throughout the world, too many to list here. Recent news has exposed the questionable, at best, accomplishments of Trump’s “charity.” Fact-finders have found no indications that, as Mr. Denison claims, the Clintons have enriched themselves financially from donations. It’s about time the Clinton Foundation is recognized for what it accomplishes to enrich humankind.Wayne VirklerRexford I know for a fact the SAFE Act he pushed through in the middle of the night has contributed to a lot of people leaving. Another is having to put up with his arrogance and extreme narcissism. The taxes imposed, and in my humble opinion wasted, on a lot of things is another biggie. Seeing so many of his friends and associates brought up on charges also tells a tale. Seeing him in cuffs, doing a perp walk into a courtroom, will bring a big smile to me and many other upstate subjects. They caught Rod Blagojevic of Illinois and there are still some open prison cells.David DeMarcoHadley Legalizing pot will have consequencesI’m writing to you with grave concerns about the legalization of recreational use of marijuana.As a healthcare professional I feel that it’s my obligation to share the knowledge in professional, scientific literature about the use and abuse of marijuana. In my opinion, marijuana isn’t only a frequent gateway drug, but a dangerous and harmful substance to the human brain.Recent research indicates that marijuana has major deleterious effects on neurophysiology (brain functioning). Neuroimaging studies show abnormally low blood flow in multiple brain regions in marijuana users. Reduced global cerebral blood flow was observed in the brains of 982 marijuana users, while cerebral blood flow was normal in healthy controls. This reduced blood flow was noticed particularly in the hippocampus, a brain area vital for memory and learning.Other studies have had similar observations suggesting that the hippocampus actually shrinks with marijuana use. Bill will curb abuse of money in electionsMoney talks. We want to hear what it says before we vote. Disclosing their tax returns will tell us volumes about a candidate.Stopping corruption and other criminal acts in government is my objective. This is a crime bill that Congresswoman Elise Stefanik should support.HR-1, a bill now before Congress, will create elections that are more fair and honest. Those who have nothing to hide will not worry about hiding. They will relish and allow the light of this bill to shine on the campaign finance, ethics and voting rights. Money talks, so knowing the source of it for political organizations (the Disclosure Act) and political ads (the Honest Ads Act) is important to voters.Our electoral system is disregarded by a majority of our populous and disrespected by many more because of the private money involved. HR-1 will help even the money playing fields by allowing for modified publicly financed elections. Categories: Letters to the Editor, OpinionFix rough crossing on Putnam RoadThe Putnam Road railroad tracks have been terrible going over. Your car rocks back and forth. They fixed it two years ago, shutting down the road for a week. It was just as bad when it was done. I broke car springs on it at a cost of $450. Now it’s worse. I wrote about it to two of our local politicians, but apparently it wasn’t something they were interested in. The only reply I got was mail to vote for them. Why can’t they make it like the tracks on Burdeck Street? What about emergency vehicles going over it on a call? If it’s an ambulance, the patient will probably get whiplash. How about fixing this right for a change?Dayton SkellySchenectady The day-to-day, practical meaning of these results is that marijuana users, regardless of age, are more likely to have difficulty with memory and learning, which would also result in poor judgment and decision-making and lack of motivation. Not to be minimized are the effects of coordination, reaction time and a host of other motor-coordination functions. Marijuana use over time may actually be a significant harbinger of brain damage.The last thing we need in New York, or America as a whole, is a majority of the population being continuously high and persistently inert and unmotivated to do anything but continue to get high.Dr. Frank W. Isele, Ph.D.Saratoga SpringsThe writer is a licensed clinical psychologist. Climate change bigger threat than refugeesPresident Trump would have us believe that migrant families seeking refuge from violence in Central America constitutes a crisis that threatens the existence of our country, warranting emergency funding of billions of dollars to build a wall along our southern border. If only he and other elected officials would recognize that climate change is a much bigger threat to the future of our country and spend as much time and money to end the burning of fossil fuels in America.The impacts of climate change on our infrastructure, economy and public health warrant immediate action by elected officials and all of us. Bipartisan legislation to place a fee on production of fossil fuels and distribute the money collected as a “dividend” to the American people (“Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act”, H.R. 7173) is a good start. But don’t hold your breath waiting for the Trump administration to address climate change (even though that might reduce carbon dioxide in the atmosphere). Instead, individuals can take action now by voluntarily reducing their own consumption of oil and gas through energy conservation, carpooling, choosing renewable energy sources, driving high-MPG vehicles and divesting personal investments from fossil-fuel companies. All of these actions will help stimulate innovation, efficiency and create jobs in the renewable energy industry.Bryan SwiftAltamontMore from The Daily Gazette:Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s press conference for Sunday, Oct. 18Cuomo calls for clarity on administering vaccineEDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusEDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsEDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationlast_img read more

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6 Oct
2020

Multi-million dollar result for MasterChef

first_imgThe home offers plenty of living space over three levels.The price was been confirmed by agent Michael Kleimer of Space Property who said the scheduled auction had been cancelled after two solid expressions of interest.More from newsMould, age, not enough to stop 17 bidders fighting for this home4 hours agoBuyers ‘crazy’ not to take govt freebies, says 28-yr-old investor4 hours agoTheir beautiful three-level timber-and-tin colonial offered five-bedroom accommodation three-bathroom accommodation. 20 Ford St, Clayfield has achieved a multi-million dollar result after its auction was cancelled.FORMER MasterChef contestant and Brisbane medical specialist Graeme MacDonald and his cardiologist wife, Louise Carey, have sold their home at 20 Ford St, Clayfield for $2.05 million. Features such as a bedroom with fireplace and balcony were always going to bring in the buyers.Dr MacDonald appeared in the second series of the popular reality television show, so it should come as no surprise that the property included an impressive gourmet kitchen too.In a classic example of over achieving, as well as being a wizz in there kitchen, Dr MacDonald is also a top liver specialist at the Princess Alexandra Hospital.center_img This kitchen has seen some pretty special meals.The two doctors have owned the home for more than 20 years, but Dr Carey said they decided to downsize.Dr Carey said their new property still had a good kitchen, but it was much smaller than the one at Ford St.“He (Dr MacDonald) is having to make do. He has got a smaller kitchen but the food is still really good,’’ she said. Follow Kieran Clair on Twitter at @kieranclairlast_img read more

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23 Sep
2020

Police Blotter 9-3-19

first_imgDecatur County EMS Report (22)Decatur County Fire Report (25)Decatur County Incident Report (24)Decatur County Jail Arrest Report (23)Decatur County Jail Arrest Report (24)last_img

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21 Sep
2020

Suarez gets Gerrard’s vote

first_img Press Association Gerrard’s pin-point delivery saw Martin Skrtel head in a second from a corner before Jordan Henderson’s brilliant through-ball, from the captain’s initial pass, saw Suarez bag his first. All three goals came in a 14-minute spell from the 23rd minute and while the game was effectively over at half-time Suarez left no room for debate by beating the excellent Maarten Stekelenburg at his near-post from Gerrard’s assist. The win lifted Liverpool back into second place and lifted spirits after a disappointing defeat at leaders Arsenal last week. “It was the perfect response,” Gerrard told LFC TV. “Earlier on in the week we were disappointed with our performances individually and collectively but the only way you can put that right is to bounce back. “At home the onus is on us to take the game to the opposition. Every time we struggle at Anfield it is when we are slow out of the blocks and don’t press aggressively.” Manager Brendan Rodgers was pleased with his side’s response, particularly with the way they came out in the second half having been so far ahead, having 68 per cent possession and 32 goal attempts. “They had good players and if you are not aggressive enough in certain areas they can get goals,” he said. “It was about our hunger and continuing to turn the screw and we did that very well. “I thought some of our combination play was outstanding, we looked a really good side. “When I first came in here there was a real vulnerability, nervousness, around the group ahead of these games for some reason. “But now the mentality is good, the focus is good and we are becoming relentless in these types of games and that is what Liverpool is about.” Struggling Fulham were woeful and defeat increased the pressure on Martin Jol, who remains confident he will stay in charge to guide the Cottagers to safety. “Just before Southampton, which is a good team, away from home (on October 26) we had a very good spell,” said the Dutchman. “We won three out of four against normal teams (Crystal Palace, Stoke and, in the Capital One Cup, Everton). “That is what you have to do. You have to try and get points against these teams and hopefully in the next seven or eight months we will get results against top teams as well. “There’s a lot more teams we can get results against. There’s the top sides and then maybe outside the top seven or eight they are not better than us. “Those are the games when we have to get results.” ends Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard has cast his vote for team-mate Luis Suarez to win the Ballon d’Or – although he had to check the rules to make sure he was allowed to do so first. The Uruguay striker scored twice in the 4-0 win over Fulham to take his tally to eight in just six league matches he has played this season. Nominations for the world player of the year apply to the calendar year so his tally for the Reds is 18 in 20 league games. But the 26-year-old will not win the trophy as part of the criteria refers to “overall behaviour on and off the pitch” so Suarez’s 10-match ban for biting Chelsea’s Branislav Ivanovic counts against him. That has not stopped Gerrard picking Suarez for one of the three votes all national team captains are given. “I voted for him in my top three,” said the midfielder. “I asked if the rules can be that you can vote for one of your own players and they gave me the green light so he got one of my votes. “I think everyone knows how much I rate him, I think we are very lucky to have him and we have to enjoy him while he’s here. “For me he is one of the top four or five players in the world for sure.” Suarez’s form this season is likely to be decisive in whether Liverpool qualify for the Champions League, which in turn is likely to be the deciding factor in whether he remains at the club or not. He was very close to scoring back-to-back Anfield hat-tricks as it was his header from Gerrard’s free-kick which came off Fernando Amorebieta for the opening own goal. last_img read more

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20 Sep
2020

Young: We must aim for victory

first_img He is undoubtedly one of them. The 29-year-old was expected to leave Old Trafford last summer, but he has been one of the best outfield players in the squad this season. Marouane Fellaini is another player who seems to be improving under Van Gaal. Fellaini was heavily criticised during David Moyes’ reign, but the big Belgian has earned plaudits for his performances in the no.10 role of late. “He has been very important for us. He has been in the team and when he is in the box, I’m not sure many teams can handle him,” Young said of the £27.5million midfielder. “You saw (against Tottenham) that he was fantastic at getting in the box and looking like a striker at times. “I think he likes playing in that position. We just have to utilise his strengths and I think we did that really well on Sunday. “I think last season was difficult for a lot of people and this season is totally different.” “We will go there looking for the three points,” the United winger said. “We are going there to win, you don’t go to a place to try and draw. The performance against Tottenham was brilliant but we have a tough game coming up at Liverpool. We have got to dust ourselves down in the right way and go for the three points again.” Questions had been raised about Louis van Gaal’s team selection and tactics in the wake of United’s FA Cup exit to Arsenal, but everything fell into place last weekend as United put on by far their best performance of the season. Young thinks United will therefore go into Sunday’s game in high spirits, but he insists confidence in the camp has never been a problem this season despite a number of uninspiring team displays. He said: “Morale has always been high. Confidence has always been there too. “We were obviously disappointed after the Arsenal game. I said afterwards that it will show how our team spirit and character is with how we bounce back. “I think if you look at the first 45 minutes (against Spurs) then that was exactly the right way to bounce back.” Young praised Van Gaal’s methods, insisting some players had improved under the Dutchman’s stewardship. After beating Tottenham last weekend, United have a chance to further strengthen their grip on fourth when they face their old rivals at Anfield. A draw would be enough to keep United two points ahead of fifth-placed Liverpool, but Young knows victory would put further daylight between the two teams, who both have nine matches left. Ashley Young says Manchester United will go for the kill when they head to Liverpool on Sunday. Press Associationlast_img read more

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