Diego Simeone has known tough times in management, but success with Atletico Madrid has made him one of the most respected coaches in the world. Rick Dempsey Jersey . After seeing him steer his club past Barcelona and into the Champions League semi-finals, Adam Bate and Terry Gibson look at what the future might hold... November 2008. Guadalajara, Mexico. Radamel Falcaos goal had put River Plate two up on the night and ahead on aggregate. But there followed an all too familiar second-half collapse and by full time River were out of the Copa Sudamericana. A season in tatters. Simeone in River Plates Estadio Monumental during his time in charge of the club For coach Diego Simeone, it was the last hope gone. Hed already been left beleaguered by the teams domestic form but this ended any thoughts of salvation. He has told us that, as of Sunday, he will no longer be coach, River director Rodolfo Cuina confirmed afterwards. The club had won the Clausura in June but the autumn had been miserable. An 11-game winless streak that included a home defeat to great rivals Boca Juniors left River bottom and would eventually - given the complex nature of the leagues format - see them relegated.None of which, more than seven years on, should detract too much from Simeones capabilities as a coach. After all, hed already established his credentials in winning an historic title with Estudiantes let alone the achievements in his early days at River. Simeone: We never give up Diego Simeone hailed Atletico Madrids battling spirit after they reached the Champions League semis But it is a reminder that Simeone is not immune to failure. For all our obsession with the cult of the manager, these figures are dependent on the vagaries of form, fitness and fortune. Its only Atletico Madrid, his home away from home, thats brought Simeone sustained success.There was Europa League glory and an improbable La Liga title; a Champions League final that took Atletico within moments of the impossible. For Sky Sports La Liga expert Terry Gibson, a long-time admirer of Simeone, its at the Calderon that the stars have aligned. How Spain reacted to Barca loss We round up the reaction of the Spanish press to Atleticos Champions League victory It was his seventh job in seven years, Gibson tells Sky Sports. But what hes done at Atletico, hes learnt from the other jobs hes had and now hes the finished article. If he wanted to leave Atletico, Im sure every club would be keen on getting him.And yet, it is Antonio Conte, the manager of the Italy national team, who has been appointed as the next Chelsea boss, while Manchester United appear content to contemplate the relative merits of Jose Mourinho and Ryan Giggs, should Louis van Gaal fail to deliver a top-four finish.Meanwhile, Simeone can look forward to a Champions League semi-final after seeing off defending champions Barcelona and his Atletico are arguably the best organised team in world football. Europes toughest team? Atletico Madrid showed the power of their team spirit v Barcelona Hes taken on two giants of European football and hes often won, adds Gibson. Hes taken Atletico from a team that was drifting along and a side which had ideas above their station to one which is going toe to toe with Barcelona and Real Madrid.His reputation has been questionable at times but its done him a favour up against Real Madrid and Barcelona, with his siege mentality and win-at-all-costs thinking. Atletico werent one of the strongest teams when he took over and he had to do it his own way. Simeone has fashioned Atletico Madrid into one of the toughest teams around But what is the Simeone way? The man himself has suggested in the past that any ideas must be fluid. You cant have a favourite formation for the simple fact that, as managers, we have to adapt not to what we would like, but to what we have to work with, he explained.In the world of holistic approaches and philosophies delivered to order, this all sounds more Jose Mourinho than Pep Guardiola and thats reflected in his style. Perhaps its not in fashion elsewhere, but importantly for Atletico, it works for them. His teams will always be hard to break down and organised from the back, says Gibson. I know his style of football isnt always attractive on the eye but hes intelligent enough to adapt to whatevers needed at another club and still retain the essence of a Simeone team.One way hes able to achieve that is by retaining full control. Hes not just the manager of the team, he manages everything at Atletico Madrid, adds Gibson. He has power over the signings, over the supporters who adore him, and hes absolutely in charge of the club.Its not been like that for 20 years at Atletico, the presidents always had the power. They made a big decision bringing him in and theyve given him, over the last three or four years, the power to run the football club. He wont get that anywhere else. Simeone has a strong relationship with his players at Atletico Madrid There are the suggestions hes learning English and the reports of a release clause in the four-year contract that runs until the summer of 2020. Whats clear is that his exit would be mourned at Atleti, where hes a hero as a player and coach.Walking away will not be easy. If he was to decide to leave Atletico, it would only be his decision, says Gibson. Atletico would keep him forever. Its a situation he must enjoy.He gets paid well and theyre competing against the best in La Liga and the Champions League. The new stadium isnt too far away, as well. That may convince him to stay a little longer. As long as the club match his ambition, I think hell stay. As long as the club match his ambition, I think hell stay. Terry Gibson on Diego Simeone That wont be a straightforward decision once the suitors do come calling. But having seen the Manchester United job threaten to chew up Louis van Gaal, it wouldnt be illogical either.Maybe thats something to remember as his Atletico Madrid team dream of Champions League glory. And maybe those memories of Guadalajara - of how hard this job can be and how hard hes worked to get it right in the Spanish capital - will inform his next move too. Also See: How Spain reacted to Barca loss Europes toughest team? Chris Davis Jersey . -- Fresh off their surprising run in the playoffs, the Portland Trail Blazers have signed head coach Terry Stotts to a multi-year contract extension. Earl Weaver Jersey . Here at TSN.ca we will take a look back at the season by bringing together a panel of experts to help pick the best 50 players of the season.GUELPH, Ont. - The Guelph Storm extended their winning streak to 10 games, doing all of its scoring in the third period in a come-from-behind 3-1 victory over the Sudbury Wolves on Sunday in Ontario Hockey League play. Matthew Campagna opened the scoring for Sudbury (6-5-6) in the first period. Zack Mitchell tied it for Guelph (15-3-0) 1:57 into the third period, and Matt Finn scored the winner at 6:35. Hunter Garlent added an insurance goal on the power-play at 11:54. Justin Nichols made 30 saves for the Storm, while Wolves goalie Franky Palazzese was busy at the other end of the ice, turning back 41 shots, including 19 in the third period. --- STEELHEADS 4 RANGERS 1 MISSISSAUGA, Ont. — Adam Goldberg scored twice, and the Steelheads scored four unanswered goals after spotting Kitchener a 1-0 lead, as Mississauga beat the Rangers 4-1. Justin Bailey opened the scoring for Kitchener (4-10-0) in the first period with an unassisted goal. Mississauga (10-7-1) went in front early in the second period with goals 1:27 apart when Josh Burnside and Sam Babintsev each scored their second goals of the season. Goldberg made it 3-1 in the period, and added an empty netter in the third. Spencer Martin made 26 saves for the Steelheads, while Jordan DeKort also stopped 26 for the Rangers. --- KNIGHTS 6 OTTERS 2 LONDON, Ont. Hunter Harvey Jersey. — Brett Welychka and Bo Horvat each had a goal and two assists for the London Knights, as they handed Erie just its third loss of the season, with a 6-2 win over the Otters. Dakota Mermis, Chris Tierney, Alex Basso and Kyle Platzer also scored for the Knights (10-5-1), who converted three of the six power-play opportunities. OHL scoring leader Connor Brown opened the scoring for Erie (13-3-1) with his 15th of the season. He leads the points standings with 36. Andre Burakovsky also scored for the Otters, who got both of their goals on the power play. Anthony Stolarz made 27 saves for London, while Oscar Dansk stopped 33 of the 39 shots headed his way. --- GENERALS 5 PETES 3 OSHAWA, Ont. — Scott Laughton recorded his first-career five-point outing as the Generals beat Peterborough for their fourth win in a row. Laughton had two goals and three assists for Oshawa (13-3-1) while Michael Dal Colle and Cole Cassels each produced a goal and two assists. Chris Carlisle scored once to round out Oshawas offence. The Petes (7-9-1), who have dropped four straight contests, got their goals from Josh MacDonals, Eric Cornel and Matej Paulovic. Daniel Altshuller made 37 saves for the Generals while Peterboroughs Andrew DAgostini stopped 16-of-20 shots in defeat. --- ' ' '
SUNDERLAND, England - Chelsea failed to score for the first time this season although the Premier League leaders remained unbeaten after a 0-0 draw with Sunderland on Saturday. Matisse Thybulle Jersey .Having previously been held by Manchester rivals United and City, this was just the third time this season Chelsea had dropped points.Both teams did hit the woodwork in the first half, with Sunderland defender Santiago Vergini denied by the crossbar and Chelsea midfielder Willian hitting the foot of the post.Sunderland manager Gus Poyet praised his players for defending for their lives, and Chelsea counterpart Jose Mourinho had no complaints about the tactics employed by the hosts.The other team wanted to stop us winning, Mourinho said. To defend well and a lot isnt a crime. Its part of the game. Its strategy. My players tried everything. They took risks.On a frustrating day for Chelsea, which had scored five in the Champions League at Schalke on Wednesday, Diego Costa nearly allowed it to get the better of him. The visiting striker appeared to kick out at defender John OShea and then caught Wes Brown with his arm in an aerial challenge, an offence which earned him a fifth booking of the campaign.Chelsea is seven points ahead of Southampton, which hosts third-place Manchester City on Sunday.I have nothing negative to say about my people, Mourinho said. Well done, one difficult match.The draw was particularly pleasing for Poyet after seeing his side concede eight times at Southampton last month.We stopped Chelsea from scoring for the first time this season, we knew how difficult it was, Poyet said. I saw the Champions League game (against Schalke). We needed to be good in terms of defence.Im very pleased with the performance. The quantity of work in the defensive area that we did in the last four, five weeks after the Southampton game, its showing. Jonah Bolden Jersey . - All-Pro quarterback Aaron Rodgers looked spry enough in pregame warmups Sunday for Green Bays divisional playoff game against Dallas. Aaron McKie Jersey . A fully booked flight forced me to leave two hours later. After a nice meal in which I studied the stats of the Argo win, I prepared to leave the restaurant. As I was gathering my things to leave many large individuals began to walk up and wait for tables.MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. -- Clemsons players lobbed oranges at their delirious fans, while coach Dabo Swinney lobbed a not-so-subtle jab at the Tigers in-state rival. And in the middle of the celebration, Tajh Boyd and Sammy Watkins beamed after giving the Tigers a night to savour -- one 32 years in the making. Boyd threw for 378 yards and five touchdowns, Watkins had a record-setting night with 16 catches for 227 yards on what likely was his collegiate finale and No. 12 Clemson rallied to beat No. 7 Ohio State 40-35 on Friday in the Orange Bowl, a game the Tigers lost by 37 points just two years ago. "We are Orange Bowl champs again," Swinney said. "Hey, listen: Two years ago we got our butts kicked on this field. And it has been a journey to get back. Were 22-4 since that night. And we are the first team from the state of South Carolina to ever win a BCS game." Nope, beating the Buckeyes wasnt enough. Clemson had to make sure the rival Gamecocks took notice as well. "That was a lot of fun, man," Swinney said. "That was a lot of fun." It surely didnt feel that fun after Boyd was intercepted with 1:27 left near midfield, with Ohio State needing a touchdown to take the lead. But Ohio State quarterback Braxton Miller -- who was shaken up in the fourth quarter, saying afterward he had a cracked rib and a shoulder issue -- was picked off two plays later, and the Tigers ran out the clock. Boyds 5-yard pass to Stanton Seckinger with 6:16 remaining put the Tigers (11-2) ahead to stay, despite allowing 20 unanswered points in wasting an early 11-point lead. Watkins caught two scoring passes, plus became Clemsons career receptions leader and set an Orange Bowl record for yardage. Martavis Bryant caught two more TD passes for the Tigers, who posted consecutive 11-win seasons for the first time in school history. "Its a very special night," Boyd said. "Just the significance of this game, not for me particularly, not for this team particularly, but for this university ... I couldnt pick a better way to go out as a senior." Miller threw for 234 yards and Carlos Hyde ran for 113 more for Ohio State (12-2), which led 29-20 in the second half but wound up losing its second straight game -- after having won each of its previous 24 underr coach Urban Meyer, whose record in Bowl Championship Series games fell to 4-1. Marial Shayok Jersey . Corey Brown had 116 yards receiving for the Buckeyes. "Its going to sting for a while, probably a long while because we didnt finish," Meyer said. "It was right there." Ohio State wound up allowing 115 points in the seasons final three games. The Buckeyes gave up exactly that many in the seasons first six games. "Were not a championship-calibredefence right now," Meyer said. The Buckeyes had a 29-20 lead in the third after Hyde picked up 31 yards on 4th-and-inches, then went airborne to break the plane of the goal line on the next play. "I felt like the offence was starting to get clicking at that point," Hyde said. "I thought we could make it happen." Then the mistakes started coming in bunches for Ohio State. A fumbled punt return and an interception led to touchdown grabs by Watkins and Bryant, putting the Tigers up entering the fourth. Hyde caught a 14-yard scoring pass from Miller with 11:35 left, giving the Buckeyes a one-point lead, but Clemson and Boyd went on one last scoring march to give the Tigers the BCS win theyve been seeking for years. Boyd finished with 505 all-purpose yards, outgaining Ohio State by 78 yards himself. "What a legacy," Swinney said. "He put an exclamation point on it tonight." When Clemson played in the Orange Bowl two years ago, the Tigers gave up 21 points in the final 2:29 of the first half, letting a close game get blown wide open on the way to a 70-33 loss to West Virginia. This time, the game didnt get away. Boyds 3-yard touchdown pass to Bryant had Ohio State facing a 20-9 deficit, but two scores in a 3 1/2-minute span gave the Buckeyes a 22-20 halftime lead. Clemson left Jeff Heuerman wide open down the middle for a 57-yard touchdown pass from Miller, making it a one-score game. And on a drive aided by a 15-yard penalty against Clemsons Darius Robinson, Miller ran in from 3 yards with 12 seconds left to give the Buckeyes their first lead. But the game changed again, and in the end, Boyd and the Tigers were standing tall. "It just means were one step closer to our ultimate goal," Swinney said, "and thats to be the best in the country." ' ' '