Tag Archives: absolute

Sir Bobby Charlton says Sir Alex Ferguson will carry on at Manchester United "forever"

Fergie's time will never end: United legend Charlton backs Ferguson to 'go on for ever'

By
John Edwards

PUBLISHED:

14:25 GMT, 10 April 2013

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UPDATED:

17:06 GMT, 10 April 2013

Sir Bobby Charlton fired an ominous warning to Manchester United’s main title rivals by insisting Sir Alex Ferguson looks like he will ‘go on forever.’

The United manager is closing in on his 13th Barclays Premier League crown at the ripe old age of 71, but any thoughts of bowing out after avenging last season’s late surrender to bitter rivals Manchester City could not be further from his mind, according to Sir Bobby.

‘There is nothing in his posture that suggests he is beginning to tire,’ said the United director. ‘Far from being tired, he has the same enthusiasm as ever. He is an unbelievable character, and I don’t see him ever losing that drive and enthusiasm.

Carry on, Fergie: Sir Bobby Charlton says Sir Alex Ferguson will go on for ever at Manchester United

Carry on, Fergie: Sir Bobby Charlton says Sir Alex Ferguson will go on for ever at Manchester United

‘He tried to retire once, and it was an absolute failure. Everyone wants to know the answer to that, because he can’t go on for ever. But I look at him and think that’s exactly what he will do.

‘He is a fantastic lover of football, and he is very clever when it comes to identifying a player he wants and coming to the board about it. He knows exactly what to do in those situations, and, to be fair, we try to give him exactly what he wants.

‘We haven’t got many directors at Old
Trafford, and we adopt the view that we need good players to be a top
team and that the manager is the best person to decide on who they
should be.

United heroes: Sir Bobby Charlton and Denis Law get together at Soccerex in Manchester

United heroes: Sir Bobby Charlton and Denis Law get together at Soccerex in Manchester

'We look after the business side of things, Alex the football side, and we give him what he wants. We leave pretty much everything to Alex, in a football sense.

‘The rivalry with City, and the way they have re-emerged, has probably provided him with an extra incentive. He just hates losing, no matter who the opposition are, and the defeat on Monday night will have hurt him.

'But the great thing is, he will pinpoint exactly why we lost and make sure it doesn’t happen again.’

Class of 68: Charlton exchanges shirts with former Benfica and Portugal legend Eusebio

Class of 68: Charlton exchanges shirts with former Benfica and Portugal legend Eusebio

A World Cup winner in 1966, Sir Bobby despairs of England ever lifting the trophy again.

‘When I’m asked about our prospects, I always feel obliged to say we’ve got a chance, but really it’s a fool’s errand,’ he said. ‘If so many places in Premier League teams are taken up by foreign players, we’ve got no chance.

‘Spain are absolutely my favourites for the finals in Brazil. Heaven forbid, but Germany are in with a chance as well, because they are so well coached, and Holland seem to be re-emerging as well.’

Alex Ferguson says Rafa Benitez should stand in front of him to shake hand

Rafa wants to shake my hand Well, he should stand in front of me next time! Fergie stokes new row with Chelsea boss

By
Graeme Yorke

PUBLISHED:

13:40 GMT, 15 March 2013

|

UPDATED:

09:41 GMT, 16 March 2013

Sir Alex Ferguson has re-opened his feud with Rafael Benitez over their handshake row.

The pair, who have a history of fall-outs, didn't shake hands before their FA Cup clash at Manchester United on Sunday.

Benitez later claimed that Ferguson ignored him prior to kick-off in the 2-2 draw at Old Trafford.

Scroll down for video

Clash: Sir Alex Ferguson (right) and Rafa Benitez on the touchline on Sunday

Clash: Sir Alex Ferguson (right) and Rafa Benitez on the touchline on Sunday

Hitting back: Sir Alex Ferguson (right) at the Cheltenham Festival with Paul Nicholls this week

Hitting back: Sir Alex Ferguson (right) at the Cheltenham Festival with Paul Nicholls this week

But Ferguson has now hit back, insisting that he did not refuse – before giving them Chelsea boss some advice.

He said: 'It is nonsense. Why would I refuse to shake his hand

'I was signing autographs and I never saw him. Why he has said that I have no idea.

Pointing the way: Benitez takes charge of Chelsea's training session on Friday

Pointing the way: Benitez takes charge of Chelsea's training session on Friday

'If he wanted to shake hands he could have stood straight in front of me. It is absolute nonsense.'

Ferguson and Benitez have had several run-ins in the Barclays Premier League – dating back to their United v Liverpool clashes.

The Spaniard famously held a press conference in 2009 where he ran down a list of 'facts' attacking Ferguson's record.

VIDEO “I didn't see him.” Fergie denies Benitez handshake claim

Absolute NONSENSE. Fergie rubbishes Benitez handshake claim

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Alex Ferguson on Rio and Reading

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David Tait dies in Hong Kong

Former Sale star Tait dies in Hong Kong leaving rugby world shocked

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UPDATED:

11:50 GMT, 13 December 2012

A former Scotland and Premiership rugby union star, David Tait, has died at the age of 25.

The former Sale Sharks player is understood to have fallen from an apartment block in Hong Kong.

His Premiership rugby career had been cut short by a series of injuries, and he had since become a corporate finance manager for multinational company, KPMG.

Tragic: David Tait is understood to have fallen from a balcony in Hong Kong

Tragic: David Tait is understood to have fallen from a balcony in Hong Kong

History: Tait used to play for Sale Sharks

History: Tait used to play for Sale Sharks

The back-row forward was signed by Sale as a teenager and went on to enjoy five years with the Cheshire club.

On the international stage, he formed part of England’s training squad for the 2008-09 International Rugby Board world seven series, but did not feature for the side. He did, however, play for Scotland at the 2009 Dubai Sevens.

The rugby world has been left devastated by Tait’s tragic death, with England’s Danny Care leading the messages of condolence on Twitter.

The Harlequins player wrote: 'Couldn’t believe the news y’day.Lost a good friend and an absolute legend of a bloke David Tait. RIP mate. Sending all my love to his family.'

Northampton Saints fly-half Ryan Lamb said: 'Terrible news about the death of David Tait. Top player and a top bloke, had some awesome times playing through the age groups with him.

In a further message, Lamb added: 'Thoughts go out to his family and to the sale lads in such a bad time. #RIP'

The Rugby Players’ Association chief executive Damian Hopley also spoke of his sadness, praising the former Sale Grammar School and Manchester University student as a 'gifted and popular young man'.

Speaking to the Manchester Evening News, Hopley said: 'The rugby community will be shattered by the passing of such a gifted and popular young man who was respected by everyone he played alongside.

'He wasn’t simply a talented rugby player, he was also extremely bright and successful in his life outside of rugby.

'We will do everything we can to help support David’s family and the players who played alongside him. His family and friends are in our thoughts and prayers.'

Neil Lennon prepares to use Scott Brown

Brown in agony after Benfica defeat but Lennon prepares to use skipper for push in Europe

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UPDATED:

00:07 GMT, 24 November 2012

It might well have been a medical bulletin on the victim of an industrial accident. For Neil Lennon, there is no disguising the often hideous pain Scott Brown is having to endure in order to wear the captain’s armband.

'He can’t get up out of bed some mornings,’ said the Celtic manager. 'He can’t drive. He’ll probably just make it down the stairs and lie on the couch for three or four hours before he can actually get up and start walking about.

'That’s because of pain and cramps. It’s caused by inflammation of the stomach and pelvic area.'

Walking wounded: Scott Brown (left) was in pain after the 2-1 defeat against Benfica

Walking wounded: Scott Brown (left) was in pain after the 2-1 defeat against Benfica

The price of success can come in many forms.

Brown’s current physical plight is a direct consequence of a brutal fixture schedule that’s been unrelenting four almost four months, Champions League qualifiers and group games interspersed with domestic and international commitments.

Even supreme athletes like him have their breaking point. That ability to charge at opponents at breakneck speed only for the breaks to screech comes at a cost.

After he limped out of the defeat to Benfica on Tuesday, his manager felt his injury had 'run its course' and in short order it will be given the medical attention it requires in the form of an operation.

But having received an absolute assurance from medics that pushing that date with the knife back two weeks will in no way further harm the player, Lennon will ask Brown to go to the well once again.

It’s not every day that the last 16 of the Champions League is on the line, after all.

'We’re not doing any more damage to him. It’s just not getting any better,' Lennon added.

'With the lack of training obviously his condition deteriorates a little bit but he’s such a good athlete that he’s coped as well as he has done so far.

'What I don’t want is for him to be maybe 60 to 70 per cent fit and I take a gamble with him. I’d rather just put somebody in who’s fit and ready to play (against Spartak).

Back in the fray: Brown will be used again in Celtic's bid to progress to the last 16

Back in the fray: Brown will be used again in Celtic's bid to progress to the last 16

'He has been working really hard with the medical team and we are devising a programme for him for the next couple of weeks where he’ll get some game time and maybe have him really ready for Moscow.

'With the way the situation is, I’d imagine if we didn’t have Champions League football then we wouldn’t be going through this with him.

'We’d have rested him a lot more because we wouldn’t have such a build up of games.

'But it’s manageable. I mean, he’s out there training today.

'He doesn’t moan about it but that’s the problem sometimes. He’ll keep it to himself when I’d rather he told me. Then he’ll come to me and say “I was in bits yesterday” or “I can’t train today”.

'It was originally a stomach injury but it’s referring down to the hip and groin area so it needs sorting out. Joe Ledley is starting to show symptoms of it as well but obviously not as severe as Scott's.

'It’s just wear and tear from the demands of travelling. The physical and mental fatigue makes competing in four competitions a big ask but they are coping with it pretty well.'

Hard though it now seems to fathom, there was a time when the prospect of Brown being posted missing for such a mammoth match would not exactly have been met with a day of national mourning by the Celtic support.

These days, the understanding of Lennon’s desire to do all he can to ensure his skipper plays against Spartak is absolute.

Ready: Neil Lennon was in training ahead of Celtic's match against Inverness

Ready: Neil Lennon was in training ahead of Celtic's match against Inverness

Even if Victor Wanyama were not suspended for the Group G decider, Brown’s presence would be a matter of high importance to the manager.

Asked if he’d have been tempted to rest Brown if Wanyama had been available, Lennon replied: ‘No, because I’d like him to play anyway. We need players and, as close to his best condition as possible, he’s been brilliant for us.

'Certainly in the opening three games he had three brilliant games and he was fantastic for us and he‘s been playing the best football of his career – but this has really hampered him.

'I don’t think anyone now has any doubts that he is capable of being the captain. He has proved that over the last couple of years and I think he has won the support over.

'There were a few doubts about him for a while but I think now people see what a really good player he is. He has tidied up all the confrontational side of him on the pitch and the ill-discipline – he has matured a lot and has just been playing really well.'

Brown won’t be the only player who will be used sparingly against Inverness on Saturday, at Tynecastle on Wednesday then when Arbroath come visiting in the Scottish Cup next Saturday.

With four plates in the air, Lennon will mix and match his squad in the run-up to the Spartak game.

The deep-seated desire to progress in all competitions must be tempered with pragmatism and a sense of priority.

'They’re all important but ultimately the short-term aim would be the Spartak Moscow game,' Lennon conceded.

'First of all we have to get a team in our mind and then see how we go about balancing getting them ready for that.

Out: Victor Wanyama is suspended for the final Champions League match in Group G

Out: Victor Wanyama is suspended for the final Champions League match in Group G

'I would probably say that the majority of those who will play against Moscow – or who will be in contention for Moscow – wouldn’t play the weekend before against Arbroath.

'As regards these other two games, I want to be strong because they’re going to be difficult games for us.

‘If we can beat Arbroath in the Cup and regardless of what happens against Moscow we will be in the Europa League, so they’ve done very well so far.’

While the defeat in Lisbon was a marked improvement on many a European away day for Celtic over the past decade, the performance paled in significance with the overwhelming majority they’ve produced in Europe this season.

But with a home game against an already eliminated side to come, one in which a win would, in all probability, clinch qualification, there is no question of public castigation.

'I had a chat with them today about it,' Lennon continued.

All smiles: Lennon is ready to mix and match his squad before the Spartak Moscow match at Parkhead

All smiles: Lennon is ready to mix and match his squad before the Spartak Moscow match at Parkhead

'Sometimes it’s best to leave them to it and let them digest it themselves first. They know they weren’t at their best but they are punching well above their weight and still have a real fighting chance of qualifying.

'I know they can play better and I know they will play better at home. They know what’s at stake so it should be another great European night for us hopefully.

'We are delighted to be in Europe beyond Christmas but obviously we would like to take it further in the Champions league. Their efforts deserved but sometimes you don’t get what you deserve in football.

'We’ll have to play strong and well against Moscow because they are a very dangerous team who play really good football. But with us at home and knowing what’s at stake they’ll have to play really well to beat us.'

Jamie Carragher insists Liverpool deserved point at Chelsea

Carragher insists Liverpool deserved point after spoils are shared at Stamford Bridge

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UPDATED:

19:07 GMT, 11 November 2012

Jamie Carragher believes Liverpool were worthy of the point they claimed with a 1-1 draw with Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.

The Blues took a first-half lead through John Terry, who then went off injured following an accidental collision with Luis Suarez, who later equalised for the Reds.

Carragher told Sky Sports 1: 'I think first half Chelsea were on top but in the second we came out and great credit to the lads.

Back in action: Carragher (centre) started his first Premier League game this season

Back in action: Carragher (centre) started his first Premier League game this season

'We probably deserved a draw in the end, the way we battled in the second half.'

It was Carragher's first start in the league this season and he said: 'The Premier League is a step up (from the cups) with all its intensity and Chelsea is a difficult place to come.

'If I am picked I give everything; it is down to the manager, he is the boss.'

When asked if not playing was frustrating, Carragher said: 'Yes and no. I want to play but I understand. I am never going to cause a problem.'

Reds team-mate Jose Enrique added: 'Most important is the performance from the team. Suarez is an amazing player, a key player for us.'

Point made: Suarez equalised late on

Point made: Suarez equalised late on

Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers also believed changing the system at half-time resulted in a far more effective team after the break.

He told Sky Sports 1: 'I thought in the first half we were too tentative. Second half our attitude in the game was much better and we are better when we play fast football.

'Coming here is a very difficult place. I thought it was a great point for us. You have to give credit to the players, they were fantastic.'

Rodgers also hailed Carragher, adding: 'He is phenomenal, it's an absolute pleasure to work with him. His preparation is first class, he is always preparing himself well.

'Today he was exceptional, he is a real model professional for a young player.

Case for the defence: Enrique (left) was impressive for Liverpool

Case for the defence: Enrique (left) was impressive for Liverpool

'With everything he has won and achieved he could easily come and knock on my door but he is old school, he respects authority.'

Chelsea manager Roberto Di Matteo revealed the club did not know the extent of Terry's knee injury with the captain – returning after his racism ban – set for a scan on Monday.

Di Matteo told Sky Sports 1: 'He has a problem with his knee and will have an MRI scan tomorrow.

'At the moment we can't say, we'll have to wait for the scan which will tell us the extent of the injury. He is certainly a player that is influential for us. We will miss him.'

Scan: Terry left Stamford Bridge on crutches

Scan: Terry left Stamford Bridge on crutches

The Italian was frustrated by his side's inability to claim a second goal and ultimately allow the visitors back into the game.

'We controlled the game and had chances for a second goal and that is probably a disappointment, 1-0 is always dangerous,' he added. 'We needed to score a second one.

'He (Reds goalkeeper Brad Jones) made some very good saves and also some misses from us.

'We knew we needed a second goal and pushed it in the second half and we needed to take it.'

Warsaw washout was a total disgrace, say England fans

Warsaw washout was a total disgrace, says Sportmail's man in the stands

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UPDATED:

00:14 GMT, 17 October 2012

It was raining from the minute I touched down in Warsaw at 11am on Tuesday. The rain got steadily worse throughout the day and by 4pm it was torrential.

This is a new stadium and it has a roof. That it was not shut earlier in the day is an absolute disgrace.

Just getting to Poland cost me 250 and the fact that 2,500 England fans paid good money (my ticket cost 30) to get here and took time off work – and for there to be no attempt to get the game played – is shameful.

Wasted trip: Many fans had to head home without seeing a ball kicked

Wasted trip: Many fans had to head home without seeing a ball kicked

TORRENT ON TWITTER

ALEC STEWART @StewieCricket ‘Roy Hodgson to make two team changes if the game starts tonight. Tom Daley and Rebecca Adlington to play up front in place of Defoe and Rooney.’

RIO FERDINAND @rioferdy5 ‘Well I’ve managed to watch Eastenders while this shambles is being decided!

MICHAEL VAUGHAN @MichaelVaughan ‘Seriously — What kind of sport gets called off just because of some Rain’ GARY LINEKER @GaryLineker ‘No England manager will ever carry a brolly again!’

KELLY SMITH @kjs8eng ‘It’s completely crazy in this day and age for a top level international to be called off when you have a roof to cover the pitch. #mindblowing.’

WAYNE ROONEY @waynerooney ‘Thanks to the England fans who came tonight. Sorry we couldn’t come out of the tunnel to see you, but we all really appreciate your support.’

ASHLEY COLE @TheRealAC3 ‘Can’t believe game was off, #eng 2morrows a different day thou, now time to watch #thevallys good times.’

DANNY CARE @dannycare ‘If this game doesn’t go ahead its a disgrace. England should be awarded the points. Just close the roof!!’

The communication in and around the ground was also very poor. The majority of England fans who were inside the stadium were getting news via Twitter and text messages from England. That is not good enough.

We arrived at the ground in good time for kick-off. A pitch inspection was called soon afterwards and you would expect a team of people on the pitch doing all they could to get the pitch in a better condition — but not one person came out.

The fact that Poland have the chance to rearrange a game when, in my opinion, they did not do enough to get the original game on is disgraceful.

England should have kicked off the game and been awarded the points, just as Scotland believed they had been against Estonia in 1996.

It’s all left me a very wet and angry England fan in Warsaw.

Soak it up: The officials have decided the game will be played at 4pm

Soak it up: The officials have decided the game will be played at 4pm

What the fans said…

The 2,000 travelling fans were
stunned by the postponement, furious with Polish authorities who ignored
weather warnings and disappointed that Roy Hodgson and his players did
not come out to see them in Warsaw.

Some were weighing up the extra cost
of rearranging flights home while others were resigned to missing the
game and not even seeing it on television because they will be in the
air.

James Holland and Matthew Newton, both in the RAF and based at Lossiemouth in North Scotland, are just back from Afghanistan.

Holland said: ‘The FA advised fans to
pack for rain on our fans’ website so no-one can say that they weren’t
expecting rain. It’s a disgrace.

No communication: Fans were left frustrated after being left in the dark

‘We had to take two different flights. We’re working-class lads, this is a treat for us.’

Newton said: ‘What disappointed me most was the players could not be bothered to come out and see the fans.’

Brian Wright travelled from Coventry
with his father, also Brian, and David Hartopp, flying from Birmingham
to Katowice and then more than six hours on a minibus by road to Warsaw.

‘The fact that we were getting our
information from friends at home was a disgrace,’ said Brian Jnr. ‘There
was only one announcement in English all night. Why didn’t they shut
the roof We knew it would rain.’

Better late than never: two hours after the ‘game’, the roof is on. This picture was tweeted by the BBC’s Richard Conway…
Better late than never: two hours after the game, the roof is on. This picture was tweeted by the BBCs Richard Conway

Oscar Pistorius golfing at Dunhill Links: Sprinter terrified by dancing

Gold-winning sprinter Pistorius picks up the clubs and reveals dancing terror

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UPDATED:

17:54 GMT, 3 October 2012

Oscar Pistorius said the most petrifying three minutes of his life had nothing to do with the Olympics or Paralympics.

The 25-year-old amputee sprinter, who has switched to golf in Scotland this week as one of the celebrities at the Dunhill Links Championship pro-am, said: 'I had to do a 'Dancing with the Stars' thing last year in Italy.

'I would like to have two left feet, but I have no feet at all! That for me was by far the most nerve-wracking thing I've ever done.

Challenges: Oscar Pistorius revealed his dancing ordeal

Challenges: Oscar Pistorius revealed his dancing ordeal

'It was 157 seconds of absolute torture – but a lot of fun.'

Pistorius partners Paul McGinley at Carnoustie on Thursday alongside Colin Montgomerie and Sir Steve Redgrave and has warned them not to expect too much.

'My golf is rubbish at the moment and I've got quite a dodgy game as it is. Yesterday I shot 88 or 89 and today (in his final practice round) I shot closer to triple digits.'

Building: Pistorius is trying to improve his golf game

Building: Pistorius is trying to improve his golf game

Pistorius, who had a double below-the-knee amputation as a baby after being born without a fibula in either leg, was bought his first set of clubs as a teenager, but running soon took over his life.

He competed in the London Olympics in both the 400metres and 4x400m relay and then won two golds at the Paralympics to take his career total to six.

The man known as 'Blade Runner' is aiming for the 2016 Games in Rio and then possibly one more year of competition after that.

One more shot: Pistorius wants to compete in Rio

One more shot: Pistorius wants to compete in Rio

He added: 'I'll be 30 then, so it's fairly early for a sprinter, but I've been running since I was 17 and internationally since 2007.

'It's a very demanding career and I would like to get involved in other aspects of my life, in humanitarian work and family life.'

Roberto Di Matteo rages at referee in Chelsea draw

Di Matteo blasts referee as Chelsea throw away two-goal lead after Oscar double

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UPDATED:

23:49 GMT, 19 September 2012

Oscar lit up Chelsea with a flash of Brazilian brilliance but Roberto Di Matteo left Stamford Bridge in a dark mood after his team allowed Juventus to take a point.

Di Matteo fumed at referee Pedro Proenca for rejecting a strong penalty appeal and failing to punish Leonardo Bonucci for a nasty challenge which injured Oscar.

The Chelsea boss also criticised his players for surrendering the two-goal lead they secured with goals from their new Brazilian playmaker, the second of which was an absolute gem.

Denied: Chelsea's Eden Hazard appeared to be fouled by Andrea Barzagli

Denied: Chelsea's Eden Hazard appeared to be fouled by Andrea Barzagli

Denied: Chelsea's Eden Hazard appeared to be fouled by Andrea Barzagli

'We feel disappointed and a little
but deflated,' said Di Matteo. 'We found ourselves in a fantastic
position to win this game and came away only with a draw.

'We should have dealt with the
equaliser a little bit better. There was no pressure on the ball and it
was pretty difficult to play offside. We lost possession just beforehand
and we should have reacted much quicker than we did.

'We played against a good team and
they are always dangerous. They have a lot of quality in their team but
we feel disappointed because we should have closed the game and brought
the win home.'

Arturo Vidal pulled one back for Juventus before
half-time and substitute Fabio Quagliarella levelled 10 minutes from
time in this Group E opener.

Despair: Chelsea boss Roberto Di Matteo watched his side throw away a two-goal lead

Despair: Chelsea boss Roberto Di Matteo watched his side throw away a two-goal lead

Di Matteo hit out at Proenca for
missing the penalty claim and for overlooking the Bonucci foul and urged
UEFA to examine the tapes.

'It was a bad tackle and he had to
come off unfortunately,' said the Chelsea manager. 'It's his ankle and
we will have to assess him. The referee didn't do much about many
challenges. The match is finished for us but if UEFA has a look, then
good.

As for the second-half challenge on
Eden Hazard by Andrea Barzagli, Di Matteo said: 'It was a penalty. He
got pushed and it was the second game in a row that the referee has not
seen it.'

Sublime: Oscar scored twice on his first start for Chelsea as he showed his huge potential

Sublime: Oscar scored twice on his first start for Chelsea as he showed his huge potential

Opener: Oscar celebrates his first goal for Chelsea against Juventus at Stamford Bridge

Opener: Oscar celebrates his first goal for Chelsea against Juventus at Stamford Bridge

But he was delighted with the impact of Oscar on his first start for the club.

'It was a great debut,' said Di
Matteo. 'I thought it was the right thing to start him. He did a great
job tactically, scored two goals and one of them was a wonderful goal.

'We need a bit of time to work with
him. I thought his performance, with the information we've given him,
was good. It's great to see we have a player like this in our ranks.

'He is a big talent. He's got a bit
of everything. We shouldn't forget he's still a young man but he's
already quite established, also in the national team.'

Oscar was thrilled with his flying start and does not expect the ankle injury to keep him out for long.

'It was just a kick,' said the 21-year-old Brazilian, signed for 25million from Internacional in the summer.

'It was sore but I will be fine in the morning.

I am so very happy to score on my debut. The goals were amazing and I am very proud of them.'

The second goal involved an exquisite
piece of control which spun the ball to one side on Andrea Pirlo as he
skipped around the Italian midfielder and curled the ball into the top
corner from 20 yards.

'I just tried to make the first touch to the other side of Pirlo and then to shoot,' said Oscar.

'It worked and I'm happy. I don't always score goals like that. Sometimes it happens – but not every time.'

Phil Jagielka on why Marouane Fellaini is a nightmare to face

He's a nightmare to play against! I'm glad I only have to face Fellaini in training

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UPDATED:

21:46 GMT, 21 August 2012

Fantasy football 2012

Training is an absolute nightmare when you know you have to play against Marouane Fellaini.

If he is in the same mood as you saw him in against Manchester United, he is practically impossible to play against.

There are things that we do to try to stop him but it doesn't always work. At the training ground at Finch Farm you can kick him and pinch him or pull his hair and stuff like that.

Allies: Marouane Fellaini (left) is congratulated by Phil Jagielka (right) after sinking Manchester United

Allies: Marouane Fellaini (left) is congratulated by Phil Jagielka (right) after sinking Manchester United

Glad: Jagielka is far happier playing with the Belgian rather than against him in training

Glad: Jagielka is far happier playing with the Belgian rather than against him in training

It's a bit more light-hearted. But when he's as switched on as he was on Monday night and his chest is performing that well, you can just stand at the other end of the pitch with a smile on your face.

Coming up against him in training is a totally different experience. You know straight away what it is going to be like but there's not much you can do about it.

It's as frustrating as hell because he's so hard to deal with. He's clever enough to pop it off with short balls or put players through himself.

The 'big man' is about a foot taller than me, so when I'm in training against him there's pretty much nothing I can do except stay behind him, give him a nudge or two and hope he's having an off-day with his touch.

You try to get in front of him to nick the ball but he's so strong he holds you off.

Nightmare: Fellaini (left) terrorised the Manchester United back four on Monday night

Nightmare: Fellaini (left) terrorised the Manchester United back four on Monday night

When I see him playing like that, I just think to myself: 'I'm so glad that wasn't me trying to mark him.'

I hope this is just the start for him because it was great to see him playing like that in a proper game because he is so influential.

He is enthusiastic and all the lads think the world of him. The physical side of his game is so important.

We bought him for that and playing with high energy really suits us. We are very much an 'up and at 'em' side and Felli plays a key role because he becomes a focal point for everything we do.

In the mood: Fellaini was labelled 'unplayable' by Sky pundit Gary Neville after his performance

In the mood: Fellaini was labelled 'unplayable' by Sky pundit Gary Neville after his performance

Other players play well around him, such as Steven Pienaar and Leon Osman.

When he is up there, he takes the pressure off Nikica Jelavic from being the target man.

We do look a lot more dangerous when Felli is in that kind of form. He didn't seem to get a break from referees when he came here but he learned quickly and adapted.

I'm sure teams will try to find a way to stop us but Felli is a good player.

You just know he will find other ways to get on the ball and be dangerous for us.

Interview by Dominic King

THE STATS SHOW HOW MIGHTY MAROUANE IS OUTPERFORMING CITY'S YAYA TOURE
Outperformed Yaya Toure is Manchester City's star central midfielder

Fellaini touched the ball 16 times in Manchester United's area on Monday night – United as a team only managed to touch the ball 18 times in Everton's box

The Belgian was the king of the aerial duels last season – winning a higher percentage of headers than any other player in the Premier League.

Of 117 duels, he won 74 per cent with 87. Younes Kaboul of Tottenham was behind him with 71 per cent.

He was booked 10 times in his first 17 games for Everton, seemingly picked on by referees for his size, but has since sorted out his discipline

Yaya Toure may be one of the stars of the Premier League and Manchester City's driving force, but Fellaini out-performed him last season in many ways …

Fellaini:
Tackles 311 Won 80.1%
Goals 15
Total shots 130
Shooting accuracy 49%

Toure:
Tackles 104 Won 78.8%
Goals 14
Total shots 92
Shooting accuracy 39%

Juventus to meet Robin van Persie asking price

Juventus to meet Arsenal's 20m valuation for Van Persie.. and chuck in 190k a week too

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UPDATED:

05:53 GMT, 31 July 2012

Fantasy football 2012

Juventus will be the first team to meet Arsenal's asking price for Robin van Persie when they bid 20million for the striker in the coming weeks.

The Italians are locked in a battle with Manchester duo City and United for the wantaway Gunners captain, but believe they hold the advantage due to the player's desire not to play for another club in England.

Van Persie released a statement earlier this month in which he questioned the ambition of his current club, a move which effectively brought an end to seven years in north London, during which time he has won just a solitary FA Cup.

On the way out: Robin van Persie looks almost certain to leave Arsenal

On the way out: Robin van Persie looks almost certain to leave Arsenal

As part of the whopping 20m deal, Juventus, who won the Italian title last season, has told the Premier League top scorer's representatives that they will pay him a staggering 190,000 a week, after tax, according to the Mirror newspaper.

The story comes just days after director Giuseppe Marotta appeared to rule the Italians out of the running.

Speaking to Sky Sports Italia, he said: 'Talk of our real interest in him seems excessive to me.

'Van Persie is a great player but Arsenal do not intend to lose him. And you cannot indulge in a player if the owners don't want (to sell).

'A top player is not only judged by how much he costs. It can also mean a player who costs less but on the pitch shows an absolute value.'

However after growing frustrated in their pursuit of other targets, namely Fiorentina's Stevan Jovetic, Juve have reconsidered their stance.

Team-mates: City, United and Juve are all keen to add Van Persie to the ranks

Team-mates: City, United and Juve are all keen to add Van Persie to the ranks

Team-mates: City, United and Juve are all keen to add Van Persie to the ranks

Team-mates: City, United and Juve are all keen to add Van Persie to the ranks

Arsenal remain adamant they will not sell their captain – a year after they did just that when Cesc Fabregas returned to Barcelona for 35m – but know the controversial statement did irreparable damage to the player's reputation among fans.

Van Persie is 29 in August and has just one year left on his contract, meaning those chasing him are yet to make an offer above 15m. All three clubs have had bids rejected.

The Dutch international's questionable fitness record has also been taken into account, with the last 18months the first injury-free period he has enjoyed since moving to Emirates Stadium from Feyenoord in 2004.

Decisions: Boss Arsene Wenger has said the captain won't be sold

Decisions: Boss Arsene Wenger has said the captain won't be sold

City boss Roberto Mancini has grown frustrated by the saga, and spoke out last week against the lack of urgency to get the deal done from within his own club.

And earlier this wee, he said: 'I don't know what will happen with Van Persie because now he is an Arsenal player and I think Arsenal is a top team.

'When you talk about Manchester City, Manchester united and Juventus, it is difficult for a player to choose between these three clubs. If we have a chance to take him, we will try.'