Tag Archives: benoit

Ghost goal in Spain – hits crossbar and bounces out

Not even close! Spanish ghost goal joins growing list of controversial strikes

The Reebok Stadium hosted a key relegation battle between Bolton and Rangers, and the visitors should have gone ahead but the officials ruled Hill's header had not crossed the line before being clawed out by Adam Bogdan. Replays showed the decision to be clearly wrong and Bolton won the game 2-1.

Juan Mata, Chelsea v Tottenham, 2012

Martin Atkinson awarded Chelsea a goal that put them into a 2-0 lead in this year's FA Cup semi-final despite Benoit Assou-Ekotto appearing to block the ball on the line. The Blues went on to win 5-1 at Wembley.

Marko Devic, Ukraine v England, 2012

England were on the right side of a decision at the European Championships when Marko Devic's shot appeared to have crossed the line before John Terry hooked it out, but it was not given and England won the game 1-0 to top their group.

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David Beckham plays a cameo part in PSG"s 2-1 over Nancy

Beckham plays cameo role in Zlatan show as PSG recover from a goal down to beat struggling Nancy

PUBLISHED:

19:22 GMT, 9 March 2013

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UPDATED:

23:49 GMT, 9 March 2013

Zlatan Ibrahimovic was on the top of his game tonight as he scored twice to help Paris St Germain overturn a one-goal deficit and beat lowly Nancy 2-1 at the Parc des Princes.

David Beckham had to make do with a cameo substitute appearance as his Swedish club-mate stole the attention with two second-half goals in the space of three minutes, following Benjamin Moukandjo's first-half opener for the visitors.

Victory for PSG lifted them five points clear at the summit of Ligue 1, ahead of Sunday's clash between second-placed Lyon and third-placed Marseille, while a fourth league defeat in five for their opponents left them six points adrift of safety.

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Late entrance: David Beckham replaces Paris Saint-Germain's Italian midfielder Marco Verratti

Late entrance: David Beckham replaces Paris Saint-Germain's Italian midfielder Marco Verratti

Lille came from behind to beat Valenciennes 3-1 at the Stade du Hainaut and extend their Ligue 1 winning streak to five matches.

Maor Melikson had given mid-table Valenciennes a first-half lead, but Rudi Garcia's men slipped into another gear after the break, with goals from Ronny Rodelin, Tulio de Melo and Benoit Pedretti earning the three points.

The latter pair stepped off Lille's bench to make the difference, with Valenciennes unable to summon a response as the visitors – now fifth – closed in on the top three..

Start turn: But it was Zlatan Ibrahimovic who stole the show with two goals after PSG had been behind

Start turn: But it was Zlatan Ibrahimovic who stole the show with two goals after PSG had been behind

Zlatan Ibrahimovic

Trademark: Despite his limited playing time, Becks manages to deliver a trademark corner

Trademark: Despite his limited playing time, Becks manages to deliver a trademark corner

Lower down the ladder, Evian responded to coach Pascal Dupraz's pre-match pleas with an emphatic 5-1 win over fellow strugglers Sochaux to move out of the relegation zone.

Dupraz had claimed that psychologically the game was 'worth a thousand points', with Evian lying three points behind their opponents who occupied the last position above the drop zone.

By the time Cedric Barbosa and Saber Khelifa had scored twice apiece, Kevin Berigaud adding another to render Cedric Bakambu's 53rd-minute equaliser irrelevant, Evian had jumped two places to 16th and it was their shell-shocked opponents who were left residing in the bottom three.

Brest remained looking over their shoulder at the relegation places after losing 1-0 at home to Toulouse.

Landry Chauvin's side headed into the game five points above the drop zone and looking to build on last weekend's 1-1 draw with title-chasing Lyon.

But Adrien Rabiot's goal on the stroke of half-time at the Stade Francis-Le Ble – coupled with Evian's win – saw Brest's margin over the bottom three shrink to just two points. Toulouse, meanwhile, climbed to 11th.

It was a dramatic night in the lower reaches and a woeful display from Reims goalkeeper Kossi Agassa helped Troyes lift themselves off the foot of the table and drag the away side ever closer to the drop zone after a 4-2 win.

Goals from Corentin Jean and Julien Faussurier put the home two in front with an hour gone before a late scoring spree, including Jean's second and a late effort from Mohamed Yattare added to the excitement.

Nicolas de Preville and Odair Fortes were on target for the visitors, making it 2-1 and then 3-2.
Finally, Ajaccio moved clear of the danger zone as Ronald Zubar's second-half goal earned them a 1-0 victory over Lorient. The former Wolves defender lashed home a powerful shot in the 75th minute.

Challenge: Beckham wins the ball from from Nancy midfielder Salif Sane

Challenge: Beckham wins the ball from from Nancy midfielder Salif Sane

Making an exit: Beckham claps the Parc des Princes faithful

Making an exit: Beckham claps the Parc des Princes faithful

VIDEO: Watch highlights here

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Jan Vertonghen tells Andre Villa-Boas to play him in the centre to face Christian Benteke

Play me in the middle and I'll keep Benteke quiet! Spurs man Vertonghen admits frustrations at left-back role

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UPDATED:

22:00 GMT, 25 December 2012

Jan Vertonghen is looking forward to facing Belgium team-mate Christian Benteke at Villa Park on Boxing Day.

The Tottenham defender has told manager Andre Villas-Boas that he wants to play at centre-back instead of on the left, and has praised the influence Benteke has had at Villa since his 7million move from Genk in August.

The striker has scored a third of Villa’s 15 league goals after being preferred to record signing Darren Bent, who will miss the whole of the Christmas period after suffering a hamstring injury on his recall in the Capital One Cup quarter-final against Norwich City earlier this month.

Front foot: Jan Vertonghen wants to play in his preferred centre-back role

Front foot: Jan Vertonghen wants to play in his preferred centre-back role

Centre of attention: The Spurs man says he will keep Christian Benteke quiet

Centre of attention: The Spurs man says he will keep Christian Benteke quiet

But Vertonghen is aware of the aerial threat his 22-year-old international pal will pose as Villa attempt to recover from Sunday’s 8-0 thrashing at Chelsea.

Vertonghen, 25, said: 'Benteke is very good in the air and he can score. He will be a very tough player to play against.

'I know him quite well from Belgium, in the league and playing for the national team. It doesn’t surprise me that he has done well at Villa. He now feels the confidence of the team and the crowd and manager.

'In the last two three games for the national team, he was very, very good. I think that Aston Villa made the right choice to sign him.'

Vertonghen admitted he has been frustrated filling in at left-back for Tottenham in the absence of Benoit Assou-Ekotto, and insisted he could have more influence on the game if Villas-Boas selected him in the centre of defence.

The Spurs boss has tended to partner Steven Caulker with either Michael Dawson or William Gallas this season and Vertonghen’s versatility has seen him moved out to full-back while Assou-Ekotto recovers from a knee injury.

The Belgian said: 'Yes (I'm frustrated), and the manager knows. But we needed some height in the team (against Stoke City) for the set plays and he knows I prefer centre-back, but that is enough for me.

'He respects me but tells me whenever I need to play left-back. I want to help the team.

Good buy: Vertonghen has impressed since his summer switch from Ajax

Good buy: Vertonghen has impressed since his summer switch from Ajax

'I love to attack. I love to go up front. It is a little more difficult than when you are playing centre back. I think my influence is better as a centre back. That is why I want to play.

'For the team it is best that I play as a centre back. I like to bring the ball out. You need to move the game quickly and that is one of my qualities as well.'

Tottenham goalkeeper Brad Friedel, 41, also backed his successor at Villa Park, Brad Guzan, to recover from Sunday’s humiliating result and said his fellow American, 28, could be Villa’s No 1 for the next 10 years.

Friedel, who is likely to be a substitute again on Wednesday as Villas-Boas continues to select Hugo Lloris, told Villa’s official website: 'Brad can be one of the top goalkeepers in the Premier League. He has all the attributes.

'But he has to go through a lot of experiences – good times and bad times. He needs to get to the point where he develops that thick skin of leather where you don't care what people think.

'Once he gets 34 or 35 years under his belt, then we're really see how good he can be. He's still very young in goalkeeping terms.

'He could be Villa's No 1 for over 10 years, absolutely. It's entirely up to him by way of his performances.'

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Benoit Assou-Ekotto is Chelsea target

Chelsea consider 5m swoop for Spurs left-back Assou Ekotto

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UPDATED:

14:57 GMT, 23 December 2012

Chelsea are weighing up a possible bid to sign Benoit Assou-Ekotto from Tottenham.

Rafa Benitez is under pressure to find a replacement for defender Ashley Cole who is set to leave after his contract ends in the summer, and the experienced Assou-Ekotto fits the bill.

Chelsea have reportedly considered launching a bid of 5million, according to Metro, for the player Spurs paid just 3.5million to sign him from Lens in 2006.

Rivalries: Chelsea might bid for Spurs defender Benoit Assou-Ekotto

Rivalries: Chelsea might bid for Spurs defender Benoit Assou-Ekotto

The 28-year old Cameroon international stood out as one of the best players at White Hart Lane last season, although a persistent knee injury has kept him out of Andre Villas-Boas’ plans thus far, although he will be returning soon.

Instead Jan Vertonghen has retained his place after capably standing in for the injured defender and Kyle Naughton, who is predominantly a right-back, has also played on the left.

Chelsea have been linked with Southampton’s Luke Shaw, but the 17-year old’s arrival at Stamford Bridge would mean the club were left with two young left-backs in Shaw and Ryan Bertrand.

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Benoit Assou-Ekotto returns to Tottenham training

AVB handed Spurs boost as Assou-Ekotto and Parker eye returns

PUBLISHED:

12:45 GMT, 12 December 2012

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UPDATED:

13:54 GMT, 12 December 2012


Return: Benoit Assou-Ekotto is close to making a comeback

Return: Benoit Assou-Ekotto is close to making a comeback

Tottenham defender Benoit Assou-Ekotto has resumed first-team training after over three months out with a knee injury.

The Cameroon international has been Spurs’ first-choice left-back for the last four seasons, but he has been limited to three appearances so far this term after a niggling injury flared up in September.

He had been expected to be out for four weeks, but the problem was much worse than expected.

The enigmatic 28-year-old raised hopes of a return to action, however, when he tweeted: 'Trainning with the team today !!! I hope as i ll remember the name of every one LOL.'

Boots: Scott Parker has not featured so far this season but is close to a return

Boots: Scott Parker has not featured so far this season but is close to a return

Manager Andre Villas-Boas is expected to confirm whether Assou-Ekotto will be available for Sunday’s Barclays Premier League game against Swansea later this week.

The Portuguese could also have another long-term injury victim – Scott Parker – available for the clash at White Hart Lane.

Parker has not played for the first team this season after suffering an Achilles injury in the summer.

The 32-year-old, who won the club’s player of the year award last season, has played for the reserves and the Under-21’s in the last seven days.

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Clint Dempsey, Emmanuel Adebayor and Andre Villas-Boas beat the freeze at Spurs training

Tottenham coldspur! Dempsey, Adebayor and AVB bring out the snoods

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UPDATED:

15:56 GMT, 5 December 2012

Tottenham's Clint Dempsey has unveiled football's ultimate winter outfit at training as the winter cold snap hit London.

The former Fulham midfielder turned up for training in Enfield with thermal leggings, gloves and even a snood drawn up over his face.

Keeping warm: Clint Dempsey

Cold snap: Emmanuel Adebayor

Toasty: Clint Dempsey (left) and Emmanuel Adebayor dressed for the occasion at Tottenham training

Hair-raising: Spurs boss Andre Villas-Boas was in his winter gear but Benoit Assou-Ekotto swerved a hat

Hair-raising: Spurs boss Andre Villas-Boas was in his winter gear but Benoit Assou-Ekotto swerved a hat

It must be a new phenomenon though – Graham Roberts would not have rocked up for training looking like that even if there was four feet of snow.

Manager Andre Villas-Boas was also wrapped up for the cold winter weather – and he was clearly bemused by Benoit Assou-Ekotto's latest hairstyle.

Striker Emmanuel Adebayor was also heavily protected from the icy air in thermal gear and matching snood.

Seeing double: Tom Huddlestone gives Assou-Ekotto a run for his money in the big-hair competition

Seeing double: Tom Huddlestone gives Assou-Ekotto a run for his money in the big-hair competition

Warming up: Jermain Defoe (centre) was in a relaxed mood as he trained on Wednesday

Warming up: Jermain Defoe (centre) was in a relaxed mood as he trained on Wednesday

Gareth Bale has been heavily criticised for diving over the past few weeks, but there was no argument on Wednesday morning as the frozen ground was far too hard for any player to go to ground.

Asked about Bale's diving, manager Villas-Boas said: 'Yes, he is frustrated about it. It is difficult for him, particularly in the last two games.

'If he has a reputation I think it's a little bit unfair… the last two have been unfair.

'I think he uses it as a precaution from different types of challenges. I'm not saying all of the players that challenge Gareth are malicious but the action is so quick that it might look like it's not a foul while it is.'

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Joey Barton makes debut for Marseille

About time! Barton finally makes league debut for Marseille and helps French side move level with PSG at summit

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UPDATED:

00:04 GMT, 26 November 2012

QPR loanee Joey Barton finally made his league debut for French outfit Marseille on Sunday, helping his side move level on points with leaders Paris Saint-Germain in the process.

The Rangers exile had a lengthy wait for his first domestic match for the Ligue 1 team, and could only play in the Europa League while he served his 12-match ban.

But Barton was handed a start at Stade Velodrome in front of the home crowd as Marseille beat Lille 1-0.

Back with a bang: Joey Barton was inches away from marking his Ligue 1 debut with a goal

Back with a bang: Joey Barton was inches away from marking his Ligue 1 debut with a goal

Up for the fight: Barton (left) picked up a yellow card within the first 30 minutes of the match

Up for the fight: Barton (left) picked up a yellow card within the first 30 minutes of the match

Marseille took their time to get a foothold in the game, as Nolan Roux and Marvin Martin went close in the early stages.

But the hosts would have been in front after 13 minutes if it weren't for a splendid triple save from Mickael Landreau as he denied Andre Ayew, then Mathieu Valbuena and then Benoit Cheyrou.

Barton wasted little time in picking up his first caution in French football, as the QPR midfielder was booked after 22 minutes for a strong challenge on Florent Balmont.

But the Englishman settled well into the match, and so too did Marseille.

Balmont was red-carded before the break after chopping down Valbuena when the Frenchman was through on Landreau's goal

Need a hand Barton helped his side join Paris Saint-Germain at the top of the table

Need a hand Barton helped his side join Paris Saint-Germain at the top of the table

Goal threat: Jordan Ayew (right) scored the only goal of the game

Goal threat: Jordan Ayew (right) scored the only goal of the game

It went from bad to worse for Eden Hazard's former club as Lille went a goal down through a Jordan Ayew header just after half-time.

Marseille goalkeeper Steve Mandanda was called upon on a number of occasions by the visitors, but proved himself more than up to the challenge with a couple of competent stops.

Barton, who also had stints with Manchester City and Newcastle, was inches away from marking his league debut with a peach of a goal.

The 30-year-old blasted an rasping drive from 25 yards, but it whistled past the stranded Landreau's post.

Marseille joined PSG at the top of the table on 26 points, having played one game less, but sit in second place with an inferior goal difference.

Off: Florent Balmont (left) saw red for a foul on Mathieu Valbuena (right)

Off: Florent Balmont (left) saw red for a foul on Mathieu Valbuena (right)

Grateful: Barton applauded the home crowd for their support

Grateful: Barton applauded the home crowd for their support

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Tottenham facing injury headache for Arsenal clash

Tottenham boss Villas-Boas facing injury headache for Arsenal clash

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UPDATED:

09:04 GMT, 14 November 2012

Tottenham boss Andre Villas-Boas is facing a mounting injury crisis ahead of Saturday's north London derby against Arsenal.

Kyle Walker, Jermain Defoe and Aaron Lennon are all struggling to be fit for the Premier League showdown at the Emirates.

Injury headache: Spurs boss Andre Villas-Boas

Injury headache: Spurs boss Andre Villas-Boas

And Mousa Dembele is unlikely to be risked as he battles with a long-standing hip problem.

Walker, Defoe and Lennon are all to assessed on Thursday
after they suffered hamstring injuries during the 2-1 defeat at
Manchester City last weekend, which prevented them from taking part in England's
friendly in Sweden.

Walker and Lennon withdrew from the
original squad and Defoe was unable to link up with Roy Hodgson's group
as cover for Wayne Rooney

Walker looked in some discomfort when he limped off towards the end of the match at Etihad Stadium, while Lennon was also replaced late on. Defoe played little part in the game after coming on as an 80th-minute substitute for Emmanuel Adebayor.

Concern: Kyle Walker holds his hamstring

Concern: Kyle Walker holds his hamstring

Villas-Boas will be hoping for better news from Mousa Dembele. The Belgian midfielder has not played for Spurs since October 7 because of a hip injury and is struggling to be fit for the trip to Emirates Stadium.

Spurs decided not to send Dembele for surgery to cure the problem but they have missed his energy and creativity in the centre and desperately need him to recover, with matches against Lazio, West Ham and Liverpool to follow the north London derby.

Younes Kaboul, Scott Parker and Benoit Assou-Ekotto also remain sidelined as Spurs approach an important period of their season.

And assistant boss Steffen Freund believes Spurs have caught up with the Gunners since his playing days at White Hart Lane.

He said: 'We're really close to our big rivals. I can't wait for the game.'

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Jan Vertonghen hoping Tottenham hopes are not hampered by injuries

Vertonghen hoping Spurs are not hampered by injuries ahead of Saints trip

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UPDATED:

12:50 GMT, 26 October 2012

High hopes: Vertonghen (right) challenges Chelsea's Eden Hazard last weekend

High hopes: Vertonghen (right) challenges Chelsea's Eden Hazard last weekend

Jan Vertonghen hopes injuries do not prevent Tottenham getting back to winning ways at Southampton this weekend.

Spurs have suffered an unfortunate number of blows already this season as they juggle domestic and European commitments.

Scott Parker has yet to feature this term due to an achilles injury, while Younes Kaboul and Benoit Assou-Ekotto have been out since sustaining injuries early in the campaign.

That trio are still a way off returning,
although manager Andre Villas-Boas is likely to be able to welcome back
Mousa Dembele and Emmanuel Adebayor for Sunday's trip to the south coast.

Gareth Bale is also in line to feature
against his former club after the birth of his first child – a welcome
boost for a Spurs side that suffered a disappointing 4-2 home defeat to
Chelsea in their last Premier League outing.

'I think the Chelsea game was just one incident,' Vertonghen said.

Back in action: Bale is set to start for Spurs

Back in action: Bale is set to start for Spurs

'We missed so many players and I hope a few can come back against Southampton.

'It
has been an unlucky season for us with all those injuries and I am
looking forward to playing with our best team very soon because we can
be so strong.

'The Chelsea game was just unlucky. We made a couple of wrong choices.

'We're very confident for the rest of the Premier League. Southampton are next and they really want to play good football.

'They believe in their own philosophy and I think we have done better in the away games until now so hopefully we can carry that on Sunday.'

Bad day at the office: Chelsea put four past Spurs

Bad day at the office: Chelsea put four past Spurs

If Tottenham are to get a result at
St Mary's, there will need to be a vast improvement from their Europa
League display in Slovenia of Thursday night.

Gylfi
Sigurdsson's second-half goal earned the north Londoners a 1-1 draw at
NK Maribor, who took the lead late in the first half through Robert
Beric.

Tottenham have
drawn all three of their Group J fixtures so far and sit just two points
shy of leaders Lazio and one point off Maribor.

'We
came here for a win so it is frustrating,' Vertonghen said. 'We hoped
to play better but the group is still open so we have hope.

'We have two good home games to come so we're still very confident of making the next round.

Making a point: Sigurdsson (right) netted the equaliser against Maribor

Making a point: Sigurdsson (right) netted the equaliser against Maribor

'I think if we win these next home games we're in pole position to make it to the next round.

'We have played Lazio at home and the best two home games are to come so the group is very confident.'

Tottenham's draw in Slovenia was one of a number of shock results for English sides in Europe this week.

Manchester United had to turn around a two-goal deficit to overcome Braga on the same night that Chelsea lost 2-1 at Shakhtar Donetsk.

The following day Schalke condemned Arsenal to their first their first home Champions League defeat since 2009, but the biggest shock came in Amsterdam as Ajax beat Manchester City 3-1.

Pointing the way: Spurs boss Villas-Boas

Pointing the way: Spurs boss Villas-Boas

The result was a crushing blow to City's hopes of making the knockout stages but did not surprise Vertonghen, who made more than 200 appearances for the Dutch club before his summer move to White Hart Lane.

'I could not watch as I had no internet in my room so had to watch the highlights,' the defender said.

'It was not really a surprise for me because they always do well against English teams.

'I am really not surprised about the result. I told the guys not to bet on City.

'I'm joking but they are just a very good team and can play very good football. I was happy with the result.'

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Benoit Assou-Ekotto set to return to training

Assou-Ekotto set to return to training after Spurs defender avoids surgery on knee injury

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UPDATED:

08:33 GMT, 15 October 2012

Benoit Assou-Ekotto is due to return to training this week as he battles back from a knee injury.

Assou-Ekotto has been sidelined for six weeks and it was feared that the left-back would require an operation to clean out a fragment of bone.

On the mend: Spurs defender Benoit Assou-Ekotto is closing in on a comeback

On the mend: Spurs defender Benoit Assou-Ekotto is closing in on a comeback

But the 28-year-old has avoided surgery after specialists confirmed he could solve the problem by resting.

Assou-Ekoto has stepped up his rehabilitation during the international break and will be assessed again later this week.

He has played three times this season, scoring in a 1-1 draw with West Bromwich in August.