Salah sends Liverpool into last 16, Moura rescues Spur.Mohamed Salah’s first-half goal and a stunning late save from goalkeeper Alisson saw Liverpool edge into the Champions League knockout stage after a tense 1-0 win over Napoli on Tuesday, while Lucas Moura’s late strike saw Tottenham progress with a draw at BarcelonaLast year’s runners-up Liverpool knew victory by two goals or a 1-0 triumph would put them through to the last 16 from Group C, and Salah’s cool 34th-minute finish proved enough as they finished ahead of Napoli on goals scored.Paris Saint-Germain reached the knockout stage as group winners thanks to a 4-1 victory over Red Star Belgrade, with Neymar, Kylian Mbappe and Edinson Cavani all on the scoresheet.Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool grabbed the crucial goal at a raucous Anfield, as Salah jinked past Kalidou Koulibaly inside the area and slotted the ball beyond goalkeeper David Ospina.Salah, who had already wasted an earlier chance with a heavy touch, continued to run Napoli ragged early in the second half, but Ospina saved from Jordan Henderson and James Milner curled wide as Carlo Ancelotti’s men stayed a goal from turning the group on its head.The atmosphere around Anfield became increasingly tense as the Premier League leaders continued to miss opportunities, with Ospina springing to his left to tip away Salah’s attempted lob before denying Mane from point-blank range.Senegal forward Mane was guilty of two further snatched efforts in front of goal, and Napoli almost made the Reds pay in the dying moments.The ball fell for substitute striker Arkadiusz Milik unmarked in the area, but Alisson raced from his line to keep out the Pole’s strike with his legs.PSG went into their match in Belgrade knowing that victory would send them through, and Edinson Cavani gave them the perfect start by tapping in after an excellent run and pass by Kylian Mbappe.Neymar’s strike five minutes before halftime appeared to have put the game to bed, but Red Star, who had already beaten Liverpool and held Napoli in Serbia earlier in the campaign, pulled one back before the hour mark through Marko Gobeljic.
E-MAIL: [email protected] Contributing: Dirk Facer, Brad Rock Related SAN FRANCISCO — You’d think the Most Valuable Defensive Player of the Emerald Bowl would get a little more respect that Eric Weddle did Thursday night.The press box announcer had problems with his name all night, calling him “WEE-dle,” “We-DELL,” and “Widdle,” everything but “WED-dle,” as he’s been known by throughout his three-year career at Utah.Weddle was a jack of all trades again in the Utes’ Emerald Bowl victory, playing cornerback, returning punts, running the ball, passing the ball, holding the ball on kicks and even running the ball off a fake field goal.Weddle’s biggest job was watching Georgia Tech’s all-American receiver Calvin Johnson, and he did a superb job holding him to just two catches for 19 yards.”I took it as a challenge, because no one gives you a chance,” he said. “You want to prove everybody wrong.”About the only thing Weddle did wrong was throw an interception in one of his stints as a quarterback. After a botched play, he was trying to throw it away, but had it intercepted in the end zone from 50 yards out. “I didn’t get enough oomph into it,” he said. ANOTHER QUARTERBACK: Utah coach Kyle Whittingham declined comment on his team’s impending quarterback controversy calling it a nice problem to have. He did, however, draw laughs in his postgame press conference by adding Weddle’s name to a pool of candidates for the job that includes Brett Ratliff, who is coming off of the best passing performance in Utah bowl history, Brian Johnson and Tommy Grady. A PLACE IN THE SUN: Utah linebacker Spencer Toone said even if this wasn’t his team’s best season, it deserves a place in history.Asked how the 2005 Utes might be characterized, he said, “I think as one of the teams with the most character.” He continued, “You know what? We’re not going to be characterized as the best team, but as one of the most high-character teams.” MOMENTS TO REMEMBER: Ute defensive coordinator Gary Andersen said despite last year’s historic Fiesta Bowl season, this year’s club provided its own memories.”These kids had every type of life experience you could have,” he said. “They had the lowest of lows when we lost three in a row and now the highest of the highs.” Asked whether finishing as they did this year is as sweet as rolling through every game, as they did last year, he added, “There was a lot of sweetness. Every year is different, but this year provided some very, very sweet memories.” STILL ABOVE AVERAGE: Weddle was both happy and realistic about the Utes’ season, which had a strong ending but a weak middle. “Seven-and-five is still mediocre,” said Weddle, “but it’s better than 6-6.” THE NEXT LEVEL: Utah’s Quinton Ganther, who finished the season with 1,127 yards rushing (fifth-highest in team history), has accepted an invitation to participate in the NFL Draft Combine, Feb. 23 to March 1 in Indianapolis. NFLDraftScout.com ranks him as the 18th best running back prospect. Former Utah quarterback Brett Elliott, who transferred to Div. II Linfield College near his home in Oregon two years ago, is also headed to the RCA Dome that week. He’s also scheduled to participate in the Las Vegas All-American Classic on Jan. 14 and the Hula Bowl in Hawaii a week later. NFLDraftScout.com ranks him 15th at quarterback. Both Ganther and Elliott are projected to be drafted in the sixth or seventh rounds. SENIOR FINALE: Several senior starters concluded their Utah careers at the Emerald Bowl. The now-former-Utes include captains Jesse Boone, Steve Fifita, Spencer Toone and Ganther, as well as Travis LaTendresse, David Dirkmaat, Chad Jacobsen, Eugene Oates, kicker Dan Beardall and long snapper Brock Condie.”It’s been a pleasure having those guys in the program,” Whittingham said of the entire senior class. He praised their hard work and is elated they were able to finish with a bowl appearance. Boone and Fifita each have a game left to play, They’ll represent the Utes in the Hula Bowl and East-West Shrine Game, respectively, on Jan. 21. RECORD DAY: A combined total of 12 individual and nine team Emerald Bowl records were broken. So, too, was the Mountain West’s three-game losing streak in the game. The league’s lone win may stand for quite a while. Starting next season, the San Francisco-based contest enters into a new four-year agreement to pit teams from the Pac-10 and Atlantic Coast Conference. EXTRA POINTS: Scouts from three NFL teams (Seattle Seahawks, Cleveland Browns and Oakland Raiders) and two CFL franchises (Calgary Stampeders and Edmonton Eskimos) attended the game . . . The Emerald Bowl used instant replay for the first time . . . “Buzz,” the Georgia Tech mascot, was at the center of a trademark controversy with Salt Lake City’s Triple-A baseball team several years ago. The matter was eventually resolved and the Salt Lake Buzz became the Stingers and now the Bees . . . The officiating crew came from the Mid-American Conference . . . Attendance was 25,742. Red steamroller: Utes blitz Georgia Tech for 5th bowl victory in a row
LAS VEGAS – A man accused of pulling a gun while O.J. Simpson confronted two sports memorabilia dealers in a Las Vegas hotel room told a judge on Monday that he’ll accept a plea deal and testify against Simpson and two other men. Michael McClinton, 49, of Las Vegas, became the third man to agree to plead guilty to reduced charges in the case. He told Las Vegas Justice of the Peace Joe M. Bonaventure he will plead guilty to robbery and conspiracy to commit robbery, felonies that combined could get him probation or up to 11 years in prison. McClinton spoke only to acknowledge he understood the terms of the plea agreement and to waive his preliminary hearing. In brief comments outside the courtroom, McClinton’s lawyer, William Terry, declined to say what testimony McClinton would provide. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGame Center: Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, 10 a.m.McClinton’s decision to take a plea came as both sides gear up for a Nov. 8 preliminary hearing. According to police reports, McClinton brought two guns at Simpson’s request to a Sept. 13 confrontation with collectibles dealers Bruce Fromong and Alfred Beardsley at an off-Strip casino hotel. McClinton wielded one gun and acted like a police offer, according to others in the hotel room. McClinton’s testimony would provide prosecutors with another account contradicting Simpson’s claim that no guns were involved when he went to retrieve items he said belonged to him. Simpson’s lawyer, Yale Galanter, did not immediately respond to a request for comment. He has criticized Clark County District Attorney David Roger for “giving away the courthouse” while cutting deals with co-defendants. Simpson and co-defendants Clarence Stewart and Charles Ehrlich face 12 criminal charges, including kidnapping, armed robbery, assault with a deadly weapon, conspiracy and coercion, and one gross misdemeanor, conspiracy to commit a crime. A kidnapping conviction alone could result in a sentence of life in prison with parole. Charles Cashmore and Walter Alexander have pleaded guilty to reduced charges and agreed to testify against the three men. Alexander, a Simpson golfing buddy from Mesa, Ariz., told police that Simpson said to bring guns, and told him later to deny that guns were used. Alexander pleaded guilty to felony conspiracy to commit robbery, and could face probation or up to six years in prison. Cashmore, a journeyman union laborer from Las Vegas, pleaded guilty to felony accessory to robbery. He could receive probation or up to five years in prison. Authorities say memorabilia taken from the hotel room included football game balls signed by Simpson, Joe Montana lithographs, baseballs autographed by Pete Rose and Duke Snider, photos of Simpson with the Heisman Trophy, and framed awards and plaques, together valued at as much as $100,000, according to police reports. For the latest news and observations on crime in Los Angeles and the San Fernando Valley, check out the Daily News’ crime blog by clicking here.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!