By Alistair Magowan
Chelsea’s attackers were too much for a young Manchester United defence as they won to book a place against Leeds in the Capital One Cup last eight.
Chelsea made two defensive errors as Ryan Giggs and Javier Hernandez scored either side of David Luiz’s penalty.
Gary Cahill made it 2-2 and it appeared Nani’s chipped finish would win it but Eden Hazard scored another spot-kick.
Daniel Sturridge and Ramires both registered in extra time before Giggs added a late consolation penalty.
Luiz also hit the bar in the added half hour as Chelsea finished on top and were rewarded for introducing the cream of their talent from the bench.
But they were thankful to young United centre-back Scott Wootton, who pushed Ramires to gift Chelsea their second penalty in injury time and then left his header back to Anders Lindegaard short as Sturridge finally found the net. Continue reading “Chelsea FC Beat Manchester United Miserably in Capital One Cup” »
By HOWARD FENDRIC
WIMBLEDON, England — For Serena Williams, the low point came in early 2011, when she spent hours laying around her home, overwhelmed by a depressing series of health scares that sent her to the hospital repeatedly and kept her away from tennis for 10 months.
The high point came Saturday on Centre Court at Wimbledon, when Williams dropped down to the grass, hands covering her face. She was all the way back, a Grand Slam champion yet again.
Her serve as good as there is, her grit as good as ever, Williams was dominant at the start and finish, beating Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland 6-1, 5-7, 6-2 to win a fifth championship at the All England Club and 14th major title overall, ending a two-year drought. Continue reading “Serena Williams Defeats Agnieszka Radwanska to Win 5th Wimbledon” »
Goal-line technology has been given the go-ahead by the International Football Association Board (IFAB) following a vote at Fifa headquarters in Zurich.
Two systems – Hawk-Eye and GoalRef – have been approved after passing a series of scientific tests.
They will first be used at December’s Club World Cup – which features Chelsea – and, if successful, at the 2013 Confederations Cup and 2014 World Cup.
It could even be introduced during the 2012-13 Premier League campaign.
In a statement following the announcement, the Premier League said it had been a “long term advocate of goal-line technology”.
“We welcome today’s decision by IFAB and will engage in discussions with both Hawkeye and GoalRef in the near future with a view to introducing goal-line technology as soon as is practically possible.”
FA general secretary Alex Horne said it was up to the Premier League to decide on a timescale for implementation.
“It may be December until the technology is absolutely finally approved and installed in stadia,” he said at a press conference in Zurich. “Priority is given to the Fifa Club World Cup in Japan.
“The Premier League need to talk to the two [technology providers] and the clubs. My understanding is that clubs are supportive and, in principle, as long as all clubs agree it could be introduced part-way through the season, it could be before the start of 2013-14 season, it could be part way through.
Former Chelsea boss Andre Villas-Boas has been appointed the new head coach of Tottenham Hotspur, three weeks after Harry Redknapp was sacked.
Villas-Boas, 34, returns to football on a three-year contract four months after his dismissal at Chelsea.
“For me, this is one of the most exciting coaching positions in the Premier League,” said Villas-Boas.
“This is a squad any coach would love to work with. Together I believe we can bring success in the seasons ahead.”
Despite winning the Portuguese domestic double and the Europa League at Porto in 2010-11, Villas-Boas was sacked by Chelsea less than 12 months into a three-year contract in March.
In the wake of Redknapp’s dismissal, former France coach Laurent Blanc, Wigan’s Roberto Martinez, Fabio Capello and former Tottenham striker Jurgen Klinsmann were linked with the post before the ex-Porto boss emerged as Spurs’ preferred candidate.
“He has an outstanding reputation for his technical knowledge of the game and for creating well-organised teams capable of playing football in an attractive and attacking style,” Spurs chairman Daniel Levy told the club’s official website.
“Andre shares our long-term ambitions and ethos of developing players and nurturing young talent, and he will be able to do so now at a new world-class training centre.”
Villas-Boas brings with him two members of the coaching staff who served under him at Chelsea, first-team fitness coach Jose Mario Rocha and Daniel Sousa, head of opposition scouting.
And Levy hinted that Tottenham would now look to add to their playing staff in the close season.
“It is important we now look to develop the potential within the squads at all levels, while strengthening the first team in the summer in key positions with players who will become part of the future success of the club,” he said.
Tottenham, who finished fourth in the Premier League table last season, launch the 2012-13 season away to Newcastle on 18 August.
Villas-Boas is scheduled to lead Spurs into action against his former club Chelsea on 20 October at White Hart Lane, with the Portuguese due to return to Stamford Bridge on 13 April.
His arrival follows last week’s news that winger Gareth Bale, 22, has signed a new four-year-deal with Spurs.
Andre Villas-Boas factfile
- Born: 17 October 1977 in Porto, Portgual
- Managerial career: Academica, Porto, Chelsea
- Chelsea highs: Champions League group wins over over Bayer Leverkusen (2-0), Genk (5-0) and Valencia (3-0)
- Chelsea lows: Won one of his last six Premier League games in charge as Chelsea dropped out of the race for the Premier League title, and was sacked after 256 days in charge
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Harry Redknapp has left Tottenham after almost four years in charge.
Redknapp, who was heavily linked with the England job before the Football Association opted for Roy Hodgson, had denied speculation that he had resigned on Tuesday.
The 65-year-old had a year left on his contract but reportedly failed to agree a new deal with chairman Daniel Levy.
Everton manager David Moyes is the favourite for the job but the Toffees have received no approach for the Scot.
Redknapp left Portsmouth for Tottenham, who were four points adrift at the bottom of the Premier League, in October 2008.
She’s been accused of distracting him from his football career and from these pictures, it’s not difficult to see why.
Sports Illustrated model Melisa Satta showed off her enviable figure in Miami as she frolicked in the ocean with AC Milan boyfriend Kevin-Prince Boateng and he was happy to be the sole focus of her attention.
The couple heated things up in the sunshine as they passionately kissed while taking a dip, oblivious of other holidaymakers.
Gorgeous 26-year-old Melissa wore a bright striped bikini which struggled to contain her ample curves and showed off her pert bottom.
A star tattoo on each of her hips and a larger tattoo on her right shoulder were also visible.
Meanwhile, Kevin, 25, showcased his impressive collection of body art as he took to the beach in a pair of black shorts.
The playful couple appeared to be re-enacting scenes from the movie ‘Dirty Dancing’ at one stage as Kevin lifted Melissa out of the water. Continue reading “Former Black Stars Forward Kevin Prince Boateng Rocks With Lover” »
Former Black Stars captain Stephen Appiah believes the current crop of national team players “talk too much.”
Appiah, who captained the Stars to their two previous appearances at the Fifa World Cup in 2006 and 2010, feels there is a tendency to lose focus when players speak on too many occasions ahead of crucial matches.
“The players talk too much,” he said in an interview with Asempa Sports adding that “during my time we were not talking too much.”
“Essien, Sulley and I were not talking too much.” They should keep quiet and let their feet do the talking.”
Ghana suffered a painful 1:0 loss to Zambia in 2014 World Cup qualifier last Saturday but Appiah is confident that the Stars can still secure qualification drawing on the team’s previous experience in 2005. Continue reading “Ghana Black Stars Players Talk Too Much, Says Former Captain” »
Euro 2012: France 1-1 England
Joleon Lescott scored England’s first goal at Euro 2012, but they were denied victory by France’s Samir Nasri.
Defender Lescott gave England the lead when he nodded in Steven Gerrard’s free-kick from the right.
But shortly before the break Manchester City team-mate Nasri equalised when he drilled in from 20 yards.
Alou Diarra forced a great save from Joe Hart with a header while England’s James Milner fired into the side-netting with the goal at his mercy.
France created the best of the very few clear-cut chances.
Newcastle midfielder Yohan Cabaye had a goalbound half-volley deflected wide, while Karim Benzema had a shot saved low by Hart and another headed clear by England captain Gerrard.
England’s next Group D fixture is against Sweden on Friday, with France up against co-hosts Ukraine.
Euro 2012: France 1-1 England
Phil McNulty, BBC Sports
England’s opening Euro 2012 game ended in stalemate as they played out a low-key draw with France in Donetsk.
Joleon Lescott gave England the lead with a header from captain Steven Gerrard’s free-kick – but France were level before the interval with a fine 20-yard finish from his Manchester City team-mate Samir Nasri.
It was a game that dulled the early sparkle of this tournament, played out in searing temperatures inside the Donbass Arena by two teams who may well enjoy a degree of satisfaction in taking a point from their first game.
James Milner wasted an early chance for England, while new manager Roy Hodgson was grateful to goalkeeper Joe Hart for a fine block from Alou Diarra’s header.
Hodgson made the bold choice of Arsenal teenager Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain ahead of Stewart Downing. Opportunities for him to shine were rare but he can be pleased with his efforts in strength-sapping conditions.
Karim Benzema carried France’s greatest threat after the break and a late save from Hart ensured England go into their second game against Sweden in Kiev on Friday unbeaten.
Once again England were tactically disciplined and highly-organised – an early trademark under Hodgson since he succeeded Fabio Capello.
And the manager knows this was a game safely negotiated without damage as he waits for the return of striker Wayne Rooney after he completes his suspension against Sweden.
England’s preparation for Euro 2012 was disrupted by injuries – and not even Hodgson’s backroom staff were safe as veteran Ray Clemence injured himself in the warm-up and had to be carried off.
The failure to cut the supply line to Nasri did not cost England when he pulled an early shot wide. This punishment was to come later with his equaliser.
England created the best opportunity of what was some early sparring, played out in an occasionally eerie silence in this giant arena. Such was the lack of noise from the stands that players could constantly be heard shouting instructions.
Ashley Young played in Milner behind the ponderous France central defensive pair of Adil Rami and Philippe Mexes. He evaded goalkeeper Hugo Lloris but found the angle too acute and failed to hit the target.
Oxlade-Chamberlain was not seeing a great deal of possession – and he was to pick up a yellow card for a foul on the outstanding right-back Mathieu Debuchy – but one impressive change of feet and a pass that found Young just offside hinted at his rich potential.
England took the lead on the half-hour when captain Gerrard’s inviting free-kick was headed by past Lloris by Lescott, who had escaped his marker Diarra.
It was an advantage they held for just nine minutes, paying the price for carelessness in possession that invited the trouble it eventually got in the shape of Nasri’s equaliser.
Diarra almost made amends for his part in Lescott’s goal with a point-blank header that was blocked by Hart before Nasri was able to take control and was not put off by Gerrard’s attempted challenge to score low to Hart’s right from 20 yards.
France visibly grew in confidence as the interval approached and both Hart and Ashley Cole combined to block Benzema as he closed in on the angle.
Benzema once again demonstrated his danger with a powerful drive that was saved by Hart – but this came in the middle of cagey, attritional exchanges. Glen Johnson was also forced into a timely penalty area interception as Benzema threatened once more.
Hodgson made a double change with 13 minutes left when he sent on Jermain Defoe for Oxlade-Chamberlain and Jordan Henderson for the visibly tiring Scott Parker.
England were grateful for a crucial Danny Welbeck deflection that took Yohan Cabaye’s shot wide as France continued to play with the greater momentum.
Hodgson’s side continued to show resilience to get the reward for a dogged display – and they can look forward to taking the next step in Euro 2012 against Sweden.