Tag Archives: clattenburg

Tottenham 2 Arsenal 1 – match report: Gareth Bale and Aaron Lennon score for Spurs, Per Mertesacker heads in consolation for Gunners

Tottenham 2 Arsenal 1: Bale and Lennon pounce on shoddy defending to win north London derby and send Spurs into third

PUBLISHED:

17:54 GMT, 3 March 2013

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UPDATED:

17:54 GMT, 3 March 2013

Tottenham pulled clear of their north London rivals Arsenal in the race to secure Champions League football with a 2-1 win in a pulsating derby at White Hart Lane.

Gareth Bale and Aaron Lennon capitalised on some poor defending from the visitors to give Spurs a commanding 2-0 lead at half-time.

Per Mertesacker hit back for Arsenal with a header early in the second half but Arsene Wenger's side couldn't force an equaliser.

Spurs moved seven points clear of their neighbours and leapfrogged Chelsea into third place in the Premier League.

Delight: Tottenham celebrate their 2-1 win over Arsenal which moved them into third in the Premier League

Delight: Tottenham celebrate their 2-1 win over Arsenal which moved them into third in the Premier League

MATCH FACTS

Tottenham: Lloris, Walker, Dawson, Vertonghen, Assou-Ekotto, Dembele (Livermore 87), Parker, Lennon (Gallas 90), Bale, Sigurdsson, Adebayor (Defoe 66).

Subs not used: Friedel, Naughton, Holtby, Carroll.

Goals: Bale 37, Lennon 39.

Booked: Vertonghen, Adebayor.

Arsenal: Szczesny, Jenkinson (Rosicky 60), Mertesacker, Vermaelen, Monreal, Ramsey, Arteta (Podolski 77), Walcott, Wilshere, Cazorla, Giroud.

Subs not used: Mannone, Koscielny, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Coquelin, Gervinho.

Goals: Mertesacker 51.

Booked: Ramsey.

Attendance: 36,170.

Referee: Mark Clattenburg (Tyne & Wear).

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More to follow

Opener: Gareth Bale beat Arsenal's offside trap to score the first goal at White Hart Lane

Opener: Gareth Bale beat Arsenal's offside trap to score the first goal at White Hart Lane

Opener: Gareth Bale beat Arsenal's offside trap to score the first goal at White Hart Lane

Pounce: Aaron Lennon took advantage of some poor Arsenal defending to double Spurs' lead

Pounce: Aaron Lennon took advantage of some poor Arsenal defending to double Spurs' lead

Open goal: Lennon took the ball round Wojciech Szczesny before rolling it into an empty net

Open goal: Lennon took the ball round Wojciech Szczesny before rolling it into an empty net

Back in it: Per Mertesacker celebrates after heading home for Arsenal to reduce their deficit

Back in it: Per Mertesacker celebrates after heading home for Arsenal to reduce their deficit

Stoke 3 Southampton 3 – Cameron Jerome scores late equaliser

Stoke 3 Southampton 3: Late Jerome stunner preserves Potters' unbeaten home record

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UPDATED:

17:20 GMT, 29 December 2012

A stunning 90th-minute volley from Cameron Jerome secured a point for 10-man Stoke in a highly-eventful draw with strugglers Southampton at the Britannia Stadium.

The Potters looked like they would pay for uncharacteristically poor defending in the first half, but fought back and substitute Jerome had the final say with a thumping volley from 30 yards.

Stoke had conceded only four goals at home in the Barclays Premier League all season and boasted the best defensive record in the division, but shipped three in the first half.

Stunner: Jerome celebrates after his long-range volley

Stunner: Jerome celebrates after his long-range volley

MATCH FACTS

Stoke: Begovic, Shotton, Huth, Upson, Wilkinson (Whitehead 70), Kightly (Crouch 75), Whelan, Nzonzi, Etherington (Jerome 57), Walters, Jones.

Subs not used: Sorensen, Palacios, Owen, Adam

Goals: Jones 16, Upson 67, Jerome 90

Booked: Jerome. Sent off: Nzonzi

Southampton: Kelvin Davis, Hooiveld, Yoshida, Fonte, Shaw (Fox 82), Puncheon (Richardson 85), Schneiderlin, Cork, Rodriguez, Do Prado, Lambert

Subs not used: Boruc, Steven Davis, Ramirez, Mayuka, De Ridder.

Goals: Lambert 10, Rodriguez 24, Wilkinson OG 36

Booked: Fonte, Rodriguez

Referee: Mark Clattenburg (Tyne & Wear)

Attendance: 26,391

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MCaptain Ryan Shawcross and full-back
Geoff Cameron were both serving one-match suspensions for picking up
five yellow cards, with Matthew Upson and Ryan Shotton coming in, and
the reshuffle seemed to unsettle the Potters.

Poor defending allowed Rickie Lambert to open the scoring 10 minutes in
and, although Kenwyne Jones soon equalised, Jay Rodriguez was presented
with Saints' second in the 24th minute.

An Andy Wilkinson own goal in the 36th minute summed up a miserable half
for the hosts, but they responded in the second period and Matthew
Upson pulled one back in the 67th minute.

Steven Nzonzi was sent off soon after but Stoke kept pressing and got
their reward, sending Southampton back into the bottom three.

Defensive stability has been one of Stoke's key strengths and there were
signs the changes would have a big effect when Southampton scored in
the 10th minute.

It was the first chance of the game and would have infuriated Stoke boss
Tony Pulis as none of his defenders cut out Guly Do Prado's cross and
Lambert had the simple task of poking in at the back post.

The hosts should have been level inside two minutes when Nzonzi's shot
was deflected to Jones in space at the back post, but somehow he skewed
his shot wide.

However, the big striker made amends in the 16th minute in some style with a lovely backheel from Ryan Shotton's low cross

Flying start: The Southampton players celebrate Rickie Lambert's opener at the Britannia Stadium

Flying start: The Southampton players celebrate Rickie Lambert's opener at the Britannia Stadium

Stoke looked the more likely to add to their tally at that point but
they well and truly shot themselves in the foot to hand Southampton a
second goal in the 24th minute.

There did not look too much danger when Lambert swung in a cross from
the right but Robert Huth beat his goalkeeper to the ball and poked it
against the bar, leaving Rodriguez a tap-in.

The visitors had their tails up, with Jason Puncheon causing a lot of
trouble on the right, and he twisted and turned his way past Andy
Wilkinson before firing in a shot that Asmir Begovic pushed behind.

All square: Kenwyne Jones was in the right place to equalise for Stoke

All square: Kenwyne Jones was in the right place to equalise for Stoke

Puncheon played a key part in Saints' third goal after 36 minutes, with
his cross headed towards goal by Lambert before Wilkinson stabbed it
over the line.

Stoke started the second half brightly, no doubt responding to a few
choice words from Pulis, and Michael Kightly fired in a shot from
distance that Kelvin Davis comfortably held onto.

There was a worrying moment for Pulis when Huth and Wilkinson clashed
heads, drawing blood from both, but they were bandaged up and able to
continue, although Huth had to change his shorts as well as his shirt.

We'll take it: Lambert (far left) and Jay Rodriguez were celebrating after Andy Wilkinson's own goal

We'll take it: Lambert (far left) and Jay Rodriguez were celebrating after Andy Wilkinson's own goal

Pulis threw on a third striker as Jerome replaced Matthew Etherington,
and Stoke began to pepper the Southampton box with crosses.

It was not all about the hosts, though, and Saints really should have
added a fourth in the 65th minute as they split Stoke's defence open
once again.

Lambert played in Rodriguez, who was denied by a fine save from Begovic,
but the ball fell to Do Prado with the goal gaping only for the striker
to shoot wide.

Three an easy: Rodriguez (left) looked to have won the game for the visitors

Three an easy: Rodriguez (left) looked to have won the game for the visitors

And that miss looked very costly a minute later as Stoke pulled one
back. For once Southampton failed to deal with a corner and Upson
squeezed his shot under Davis, who should have done better.

The Potters then appealed vociferously for a penalty when Jose Fonte
appeared clearly to handle a cross in a challenge with Jones, but
referee Mark Clattenburg was unmoved.

And Stoke's hopes of getting something from the game were then dealt a
real blow when Nzonzi was shown a straight red card in the 71st minute
for a challenge on Jack Cork.

Cut up: Robert Huth was left bleeding after a collision with Stoke team-mate Wilkinson

Cut up: Robert Huth was left bleeding after a collision with Stoke team-mate Wilkinson

The midfielder caught Cork with a painful blow but it looked a harsh
decision and Nzonzi was clearly unhappy as he left the pitch.

Pulis made his final change, sending on Peter Crouch for Kightly,
meaning Michael Owen would have to be content with a return to the bench
after two months out of the squad.

Seeing red: Nzonzi is sent off by Mark Clattenburg

Seeing red: Nzonzi is sent off by Mark Clattenburg

Seeing red: Nzonzi is sent off by Mark Clattenburg

Jerome was booked for protesting that Maya Yoshida had handled in the
area as the hosts desperately sought a late equaliser, and when the
striker did put the ball in the net shortly after he was rightly flagged
for offside.

Jerome was not to be denied, though, crashing in a tremendous shot off
the underside of the bar as the clock ticked towards 90 minutes, and
Stoke might even have won it but Davis kept out a Crouch header at the
death.

If Sir Alex Ferguson keeps getting away with abusing our referees even 10-year-olds will start to copy him

If Ferguson keeps getting away with abusing our referees even 10-year-olds will start to copy him

|

UPDATED:

08:03 GMT, 28 December 2012

During a difficult few weeks for Mark Clattenburg earlier this season, Sir Alex Ferguson’s support, and indeed his implied criticism of the referee’s accusers at Chelsea, was helpful.

For all the noise that surrounds English football, when Ferguson speaks people tend to listen.

This is precisely why, however, the Manchester United manager’s behaviour during his team’s tense 4-3 victory over Newcastle on Boxing Day was so unhelpful when the gap between those who play the game and those who try to keep order seems to be widening.

Cleared: Sir Alex Ferguson will face no action after complaining to referee Mike Dean on Saturday

Cleared: Sir Alex Ferguson will face no action after complaining to referee Mike Dean on Saturday

Fuming: Sir Alex Ferguson has been cleared by the FA after remonstrating with officials

Ferguson’s primary responsibility is to his football club, of course.

If he feels — as he did two days ago —
that a referee’s decision has gone against his team, then he is quite
within his rights to say so.

There are, however, ways and means,
and his haranguing of referee Mike Dean and his colleagues in the wake
of Newcastle’s controversial second goal at Old Trafford saw him
standing squarely on the wrong side of the line.

Players, remember, take their lead
from their manager. Supporters take theirs from the team. And so it goes
on, all the way down the football food chain until the 10-year-old on
the park verbally abuses the referee of his Saturday morning game.

Fuming: Ferguson tells assistant referee Jake Collin exactly what he thinks of the decision to allow Jonny Evans' own goal

Fuming: Ferguson tells assistant referee Jake Collin exactly what he thinks of the decision to allow Jonny Evans' own goal

Heart-racing: United struck late to go seven points clear at the top of the league

Heart-racing: United struck late to go seven points clear at the top of the league

The connection — indeed, the
responsibility — really is that straightforward. It is four years since
the FA launched their ‘Respect’ campaign in an effort to encourage
tolerance, understanding and dialogue between all parties. In the
interim, nothing has fundamentally changed and here was the evidence.

Ferguson is not alone. Football’s
ill-treatment of its officials is so well established as to be almost a
tradition and the likes of Tony Pulis, Mark Hughes and Alan Pardew have
all been notable offenders. Indeed, an hour after the Scot pursued Dean
on to the field after half-time in Manchester, his rival from across
town Roberto Mancini accused referee Kevin Friend of eating too much
over Christmas.

Kevin Friend speaks to Vincent Kompany

Jibe: Roberto Mancini jokingly accused referee Kevin Friend (right) of eating too much over the Christmas period

A throwaway gag, perhaps, but one
designed to embarrass and question the man who had overseen City’s
defeat at Sunderland at a time when the Italian should perhaps have been
asking questions closer to home.

It all looked and sounded rather ugly
and yesterday brought no relief as we discovered, to nobody’s
surprise, that Ferguson’s behaviour would not form part of Dean’s report
to the FA.

This is the bit where responsibility needs to be shared a little.

Dean, by all accounts, believes
Ferguson didn’t cross the line of what is acceptable when he entered the
field before the start of the second half to complain about Newcastle’s
goal. Why is this In moments like this, one of the Premier League’s
most experienced and respected officials should be brave enough to set
an example.

Slap on wrist: Tony Pulis was fined for comments made about referee Lee Probert's performance in November

Slap on wrist: Tony Pulis was fined for comments made about referee Lee Probert's performance in November

As for Ferguson’s subsequent
badgering of linesman Jake Collin and fourth official Neil Swarbrick,
Dean apparently didn’t see it as his back was turned. Why, though,
didn’t one of them tell him They wear microphones and earpieces for precisely these moments.

Why, also, did Collin or Swarbrick
not inform Dean that Ferguson spent much of a fractious second period
standing yards outside his technical area These matters are clearly
their responsibility.

Perhaps they, too, were caught up in
the emotion of the afternoon. Maybe their minds become scrambled and
poor decisions are the result. Or maybe they are nervous about upsetting
Ferguson. Old Trafford is the grandest domestic setting in English
football and all officials crave the opportunity to work there. Those
who have upset the United manager have sometimes waited a while to
return.

Martin Atkinson, for example, annoyed
Ferguson during an FA Cup loss to Portsmouth in March 2008. Ferguson
was charged by the FA for his post-match comments (he was later cleared)
but the real victim was the official, who was not asked to work at Old
Trafford again until the very end of that year.

Fury: Ferguson was left enraged about a decision made against his team in 2008 but he still escaped with no reprimand

Fury: Ferguson was left enraged about a decision made against his team in their 2008 defeat to Portsmouth but he still escaped with no reprimand for his actions

Certainly, this is key to the issue.
Our referees and their assistants must take charge of the big games on
the big stages confident that their performances, rather than people’s
reactions to them, will count when the next match lists are being put
together.

On Boxing Day, Ferguson didn’t cover himself in glory but neither, it must be said, did Dean.

The majority of his decisions were
correct — including the one he made in awarding the controversial Newcastle goal — but it looks from the outside as though he allowed
Ferguson to go too far in the moments before the start of the second
half and has therefore done the game, and his profession, a disservice.

Support: Ferguson fully backed Mark Clattenberg after he was accused of abusing John Mikel Obi last month

Support: Ferguson fully backed Mark Clattenberg after he was accused of abusing John Mikel Obi last month

Ferguson, for his part, knows how
great is his responsibility. He probably won’t have enjoyed looking at
the replay on Wednesday night.

His sympathy for Clattenburg earlier this season was genuine. He did his bit.

In the heat of battle on a wet
Manchester Wednesday this Christmas, though, the United manager lost his
way a little and those paid to keep him, and all the others, in check
have now allowed him to get away with it.

Ian Ladyman: If Ferguson keeps getting away with abusing our referees even 10-year-olds will start to copy him

If Ferguson keeps getting away with abusing our referees even 10-year-olds will start to copy him

|

UPDATED:

01:42 GMT, 28 December 2012

During a difficult few weeks for Mark Clattenburg earlier this season, Sir Alex Ferguson’s support, and indeed his implied criticism of the referee’s accusers at Chelsea, was helpful.

For all the noise that surrounds English football, when Ferguson speaks people tend to listen.

This is precisely why, however, the Manchester United manager’s behaviour during his team’s tense 4-3 victory over Newcastle on Boxing Day was so unhelpful when the gap between those who play the game and those who try to keep order seems to be widening.

Cleared: Sir Alex Ferguson will face no action after complaining to referee Mike Dean on Saturday

Cleared: Sir Alex Ferguson will face no action after complaining to referee Mike Dean on Saturday

Fuming: Sir Alex Ferguson has been cleared by the FA after remonstrating with officials

Ferguson’s primary responsibility is to his football club, of course.

If he feels — as he did two days ago —
that a referee’s decision has gone against his team, then he is quite
within his rights to say so.

There are, however, ways and means,
and his haranguing of referee Mike Dean and his colleagues in the wake
of Newcastle’s controversial second goal at Old Trafford saw him
standing squarely on the wrong side of the line.

Players, remember, take their lead
from their manager. Supporters take theirs from the team. And so it goes
on, all the way down the football food chain until the 10-year-old on
the park verbally abuses the referee of his Saturday morning game.

Fuming: Ferguson tells assistant referee Jake Collin exactly what he thinks of the decision to allow Jonny Evans' own goal

Fuming: Ferguson tells assistant referee Jake Collin exactly what he thinks of the decision to allow Jonny Evans' own goal

Heart-racing: United struck late to go seven points clear at the top of the league

Heart-racing: United struck late to go seven points clear at the top of the league

The connection — indeed, the
responsibility — really is that straightforward. It is four years since
the FA launched their ‘Respect’ campaign in an effort to encourage
tolerance, understanding and dialogue between all parties. In the
interim, nothing has fundamentally changed and here was the evidence.

Ferguson is not alone. Football’s
ill-treatment of its officials is so well established as to be almost a
tradition and the likes of Tony Pulis, Mark Hughes and Alan Pardew have
all been notable offenders. Indeed, an hour after the Scot pursued Dean
on to the field after half-time in Manchester, his rival from across
town Roberto Mancini accused referee Kevin Friend of eating too much
over Christmas.

Kevin Friend speaks to Vincent Kompany

Jibe: Roberto Mancini jokingly accused referee Kevin Friend (right) of eating too much over the Christmas period

A throwaway gag, perhaps, but one
designed to embarrass and question the man who had overseen City’s
defeat at Sunderland at a time when the Italian should perhaps have been
asking questions closer to home.

It all looked and sounded rather ugly
and yesterday brought no relief as we discovered, to nobody’s
surprise, that Ferguson’s behaviour would not form part of Dean’s report
to the FA.

This is the bit where responsibility needs to be shared a little.

Dean, by all accounts, believes
Ferguson didn’t cross the line of what is acceptable when he entered the
field before the start of the second half to complain about Newcastle’s
goal. Why is this In moments like this, one of the Premier League’s
most experienced and respected officials should be brave enough to set
an example.

Slap on wrist: Tony Pulis was fined for comments made about referee Lee Probert's performance in November

Slap on wrist: Tony Pulis was fined for comments made about referee Lee Probert's performance in November

As for Ferguson’s subsequent
badgering of linesman Jake Collin and fourth official Neil Swarbrick,
Dean apparently didn’t see it as his back was turned. Why, though,
didn’t one of them tell him They wear microphones and earpieces for precisely these moments.

Why, also, did Collin or Swarbrick
not inform Dean that Ferguson spent much of a fractious second period
standing yards outside his technical area These matters are clearly
their responsibility.

Perhaps they, too, were caught up in
the emotion of the afternoon. Maybe their minds become scrambled and
poor decisions are the result. Or maybe they are nervous about upsetting
Ferguson. Old Trafford is the grandest domestic setting in English
football and all officials crave the opportunity to work there. Those
who have upset the United manager have sometimes waited a while to
return.

Martin Atkinson, for example, annoyed
Ferguson during an FA Cup loss to Portsmouth in March 2008. Ferguson
was charged by the FA for his post-match comments (he was later cleared)
but the real victim was the official, who was not asked to work at Old
Trafford again until the very end of that year.

Fury: Ferguson was left enraged about a decision made against his team in 2008 but he still escaped with no reprimand

Fury: Ferguson was left enraged about a decision made against his team in their 2008 defeat to Portsmouth but he still escaped with no reprimand for his actions

Certainly, this is key to the issue.
Our referees and their assistants must take charge of the big games on
the big stages confident that their performances, rather than people’s
reactions to them, will count when the next match lists are being put
together.

On Boxing Day, Ferguson didn’t cover himself in glory but neither, it must be said, did Dean.

The majority of his decisions were
correct — including the one he made in awarding the controversial Newcastle goal — but it looks from the outside as though he allowed
Ferguson to go too far in the moments before the start of the second
half and has therefore done the game, and his profession, a disservice.

Support: Ferguson fully backed Mark Clattenberg after he was accused of abusing John Mikel Obi last month

Support: Ferguson fully backed Mark Clattenberg after he was accused of abusing John Mikel Obi last month

Ferguson, for his part, knows how
great is his responsibility. He probably won’t have enjoyed looking at
the replay on Wednesday night.

His sympathy for Clattenburg earlier this season was genuine. He did his bit.

In the heat of battle on a wet
Manchester Wednesday this Christmas, though, the United manager lost his
way a little and those paid to keep him, and all the others, in check
have now allowed him to get away with it.

Des Kelly: Christmas gift guide for all sports fans

All you need for the festive season… my Christmas gift guide for all sports fans

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UPDATED:

00:44 GMT, 22 December 2012

Christmas is a time for giving. It’s a time for giving your work colleague a seasonal dose of the Noro-virus. Giving the pungent postman a wide berth. And giving children chocolates you secretly suspect may have been hanging in that old sock since last year.

Giving is what the season is all about. However, if you haven’t bought anything by now, it may be too late already. Nobody goes shopping in actual shops these days. Shops are merely places where you inspect the things you intend to buy online for less money when you get home.

If my experience last year is anything to go by, these are delivered sometime around January 4, long after family members gather around a tree to sing carols, notice there are no presents and cry ‘Santa is dead!’ or ‘You obviously don’t love me!’

So which gifts are perfect for the sports fan Here is my Christmas Gift Guide.

Lance Armstrong Chemistry Set
The Ramires-izer Translation Machine
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More from Des here: @DesKellyDM

We live in the age of the iPhone and the App. But this magnificent device takes us to another level of sophistication. New voice recognition software doesn’t just interpret what any ‘foreign’ individual says; it takes a perfectly ordinary remark and transforms it into a damaging racial slur.

Allow me to demonstrate the power of the Ramires-izer:
Speaker A: What a lovely evening we’re having.
Ramires-izer translation: Shut up you monkey.

This brilliant gadget can generate endless hours of misinformation, huge FA inquiry costs, massive lawyers’ fees and career-threatening hostility for those who have been Ramires-ized.

Use it NOW — and issue a mealy-mouthed statement of ‘regret’ a few weeks later.

Price: a considerable amount of lost credit.

On sale at the Chelsea Megastore.

Having a word: Mark Clattenburg and Ramires during Chelsea's clash with Manchester United earlier this season

Having a word: Mark Clattenburg and Ramires during Chelsea's clash with Manchester United earlier this season

The Inflatable Anfield Striker

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Take the concept of playing a ‘false No 9’ to a whole new level with this revolutionary invention, one that is certain to shake the world of football to its foundations.

Are you tired of seeing your team run out without a recognised centre forward like Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers Do you worry other clubs might spot the owners are trying to bluff their way through a Premier League campaign on the cheap

Fear no more. Just ask the board to pump some of their hot air into the Inflatable Anfield Striker.
It will fool opposition defenders and confound Arsenal’s zonal marking tactics.

And our Inflatable No 9 is GUARANTEED to be faster than Per Mertesacker; CERTAIN to seize on a careless error by David Luiz and HIGHLY LIKELY to drink less than Andy Carroll.

Available for a bargain price of 50million. Order now to avoid disappointment in the January sales.

Mario’s Man-Maps

Are
you lost Are you too dim to operate a satellite navigation device Are
you male and, therefore, genetically prevented from asking for
directions Scientific studies prove men are biologically incapable of
admitting they are unable to find their way.

This
is why, during reproduction, millions of male sperm cells are released
in a desperate attempt to find a female egg placed directly ahead of
them that, in relative terms, is also the size of Wales (it’s always
‘the size of Wales’).

Even then, only one completes the journey.

We have the solution men have been
looking for, but refused to admit they couldn’t find. You will never be
lost again with Mario’s Man-Maps, officially endorsed by the
hard-of-thinking Manchester City footballer Mario Balotelli.

Like
Mario, simply turn off the SatNav in your vehicle, reach for your
detailed map, open it carefully — and then wave it around out the window
of the car until it attracts the attention of a passing taxi driver.

Now
pass the cabbie the address of the destination and follow him. This
gives you the dual comfort of never having to leave your Bentley AND
never having to use your brain.

Price: 500, cash only, from Manchester to London.

Flammable. Keep away from fireworks. Can also be used when you take your employer to a tribunal and they tell you to ‘get lost’.


Super Mario: Balotelli often has his own special way of travelling

Super Mario: Balotelli often has his own special way of travelling

Lance Armstrong Chemistry Set

Create cocktails of drugs in the comfort of your own home with Lance Armstrong’s amazing chemistry set. If, like Lance, you have spent years living a lie and covering up a career built on the illegal use of blood-boosters, steroids, human growth hormones and masking agents, there is only one way to forget the humiliation. More drugs! Spend your retirement years mixing mind-bending substances that completely erase the concept of guilt from your memory.

This allows you to spout blanket denials, pledge to take lie detector tests and pose in front of Tour de France yellow jerseys boasting of your ‘victories’ without any sense of shame whatsoever. What better way to show the drugs do work

Price: about 100m of sponsorship.

Available from all good… bad chemists.

Previously sold as the Ben Johnson Chemistry Set. Syringes not included.

British Swimming Lead Medals
Former performance director of British Swimming Michael Scott

Former performance director of British Swimming Michael Scott

Who needs gold medals Who needs to stay afloat British Swimming will take you under with their lovingly crafted, heavy lead gongs.

Former performance director Michael Scott inspired Team GB to new lows in the pool at London 2012 with his unique coaching mantra ‘I’d rather do it Down Under’.

In honour of the ex-coach, who is now back in Australia, where he appeared to be living most of the time anyway, you can go ‘down under’ too.

Just hang this expensive dead weight around your neck in honour of the pathetic splash that swimming bosses delivered despite 25m of public funding.

Price: 8.4m per medal.

Special offer: To sink without trace, add a pair of concrete boots branded with the name of British Swimming CEO David Sparkes — and receive a chauffeur-driven Mercedes FREE!

The ‘BaleBag’ safety shirt

Based on the latest automotive airbag technology and championed by Tottenham Hotspur’s Gareth Bale, this innovative football jersey automatically senses when a player has thrown himself through the air.

In the moment after a player dives — I mean ‘protects himself from injury by evading contact from a defender’, this shirt registers the change in gravitational force and air pressure and immediately inflates.

This prevents the player suffering further injuries during contact with the turf from a great height. The BaleBag Safety Range includes inflatable elbow and kneepads as optional extras.

Price: contact your insurers.

Also available: the YoungBag Safety Shirt, endorsed by Ashley Young.

Gareth Bale
The FergieTime Chronograph

Liverpudlians have long suspected the concept of time has a Manchester bias — which they have sought to correct by trying to turn the clock back to the 1980s, when they were good. But Sir Alex Ferguson’s new range of watches will extend time like never before and comes with a host of new features:

The in-built calendar not only adds minutes to real time, but entire days. So while the record books say Ferguson’s birthday is December 31, in FergieTime this becomes November 61.FergieTime watches link directly with a referee’s timepiece and fourth official’s electronic scoreboard, to allow the manager to directly input the minutes he wishes to add.Alternatively, you can press FergieTime’s unique ‘Play Until We Score’ feature and just let the timepiece do its business automatically.

Price: 25 years at the top.

Retirement clocks not available until 2014.

What's the time, Sir Alex: Ferguson and his watches have become part of folklore

What's the time, Sir Alex: Ferguson and his watches have become part of folklore

Italian Football Yearbook 2013-14
HEAR DES ON THE RADIO

Don’t miss the ‘Christmas edition’ of The Press Pass on talkSPORT on Sunday at 6pm — by Christmas edition, I mean we’ll do most of the usual stuff, but with a sleighbell sound effect in the background. I’ll also be wrestling on air with
Micky Quinn on Christmas Eve from 10am until 1pm. Verbally, not in reality. That’s a horrible
image at any time of year.

No football fan or player can live without this superb guide to Italian football’s season ahead. It is in the style of England’s famous Rothmans Yearbook, once prized by collectors. Unfortunately, most of those collectors are now dead due to their susceptibility to cigarette brand sponsorship.

But the Italian Football Yearbook not only beings you all the teams, fixtures, players and statistics —but ALL THE RESULTS for next season as well! Take a look…

September 29, 2013 — Juventus 3 Napoli 0. Scorers: Vucinic, Pirlo, Marchisio. Half-time: 1-0.

This guide taps into the Italian game’s unique tradition where clubs, referees and directors decide the outcome of matches well in advance and Juventus collect the Scudetto.

Price: How much have you got

Coming soon: the 2013 Pakistani edition of Wisden, edited by former Pakistan cricket captain Salman Butt. With all the results for the coming year, including our new dot-ball feature for spot- betting success.

And One Genuine Suggestion…

If you do want a small sporting gift for yourself, download the Hillsborough Justice Collective’s cover of The Hollies’ He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother.

They aim to top the UK singles charts on Christmas Day and all the proceeds will go to the families of 96 fans who died at the 1989 FA Cup semi-final — and help them continue to fight one of the most disgraceful establishment cover-ups in British history.

Well done to Everton chairman Bill Kenwright for choosing the song. And not only will you be helping the noblest of causes, but you will also be keeping a Simon Cowell act off the top spot as well.

* Happy Christmas to you all and many thanks for all the emails, tweets, the handwritten letters, books, holiday offers, complimentary sporting goods, recommendations, anonymous tips, nude photographs and unsolicited bundles of cash that you send to me throughout the year. I cherish each and every one of them.

John Mikel Obi happy to play in game with Mark Clattenburg as referee

Everything is put to bed and we move on! Banned Mikel to make peace with ref Clattenburg

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UPDATED:

22:43 GMT, 13 December 2012

John Mikel Obi has revealed he would be happy to play in a game refereed by Mark Clattenburg.

Mikel is serving a three-match domestic ban for his angry reaction to allegations that Clattenburg had racially abused him during a game against Manchester United at Stamford Bridge in October.

The 25-year-old Nigerian burst into the referees' room after team-mate Ramires told him what he thought he heard, but the accusations were quickly dismissed once they were investigated by the FA.

Suspended: Mikel was slapped with a three-game domestic ban by the FA

Suspended: Mikel was slapped with a three-game domestic ban by the FA

Clattenburg, who did not referee for a month while the FA looked into the incident, is back in action and is scheduled to be fourth official when Reading host Arsenal on Monday.

'Everything is put to bed and we move on,' said Mikel.

'If he refereed a game there would certainly be no problem. I think now it is done I am glad it is over. I am sure he is glad it is over as well, and the FA is glad it is all put to bed. We can move on from here.'

Row: But the Chelsea midfielder revealed he would be happy to play in a game refereed by Mark Clattenburg

Row: But the Chelsea midfielder revealed he would be happy to play in a game refereed by Mark Clattenburg

Mikel served the first game of his ban at Sunderland on Saturday but is able to play in the Club World Cup.

He will miss the Capital One Cup quarter-final against Leeds on Wednesday and the Barclays Premier League game at home to Aston Villa four days later.

Mikel's team-mate Fernando Torres insists Rafa Benitez has improved Chelsea, making the team more compact and more cohesive since replacing Roberto Di Matteo last month.

The interim manager also has Torres scoring. He grabbed his fifth goal in three games as the Blues won 3-1 against Mexican side Monterrey in the Club World Cup semi-final in Yokohama.

Benitez insisted his striker's improvement was nothing to do with him but Torres said: 'As a team we're getting better and coming together as one unit, working better both defensively and offensively.

'We have had a hard time this season but since Rafa Benitez came in as a coach it is coming together and we are showing more determination.

'As a team we're getting better and individually I feel much better now, scoring consistently. Hopefully I can score again on Sunday (when Chelsea take on Corinthians in the final).'

Torres said: 'It is a very important tournament, especially for the South Americans. It is their childhood dream and we Europeans must learn to treat the tournament in the same way.'

Gareth Barry to miss Manchester City"s trip to Newcastle after Mark Clattenburg fallout

Barry to miss City's trip to Newcastle after deciding not to contest FA charge for using abusive language towards Clattenburg

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UPDATED:

22:30 GMT, 12 December 2012

Gareth Barry will miss Manchester
City's trip to Newcastle on Saturday after deciding not to contest a
one-match ban for using foul and abusive language towards fourth
official Mark Clattenburg at the end of the Manchester derby.

On Tuesday night Barry was said to be shocked by the FA’s action. The incident came just days after
John Mikel Obi was banned for three games and fined 60,000 for a
similar offence against Clattenburg, who was embroiled in a race row
with the Chelsea player when he took charge of the game against
Manchester United at Stamford Bridge in October.

The 37-year-old official from Tyne and Wear was later cleared of any wrongdoing by the Metropolitan Police and the FA.

Absent: Gareth Barry accepted a one-match suspension and will miss the match against Newcastle

Absent: Gareth Barry accepted a one-match suspension and will miss the match against Newcastle

Blue Sunday: Gareth Barry (left) reflects on the Manchester derby defeat to rivals United

Blue Sunday: Gareth Barry (left) reflects on the Manchester derby defeat to rivals United

In the firing line: Fourth official Mark Clattenburg (right) with United manager Sir Alex Ferguson

In the firing line: Fourth official Mark Clattenburg (right) with United manager Sir Alex Ferguson on Sunday

Clattenburg was the fourth official
at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday when it is alleged that Barry ‘used
abusive and/or insulting words’ towards him after City’s 3-2 defeat to
United.

Both City and the FA refused to
confirm that Clattenburg is the official in question in an attempt to
spare him from any more unwanted publicity.

But Sportsmail understands he was the
one on the receiving end of Barry’s comments as the England midfielder
stormed down the tunnel moments after Robin van Persie’s injury-time
winner.

Rio Ferdinand in training at Carrington on Tuesday

Robin van Persie (left) and Rio Ferdinand in training

No scar, Rio Ferdinand's face looked in far better shape during United's training session at their Carrington headquarters on Tuesday morning after he was last seen bleeding at the end of the Manchester derby

No scar Rio Ferdinand

Shocking: Ferdinand was left bloodied after being hit by a coin thrown from the crowd at the Etihad

Shocking: Ferdinand was left bloodied after being hit by a coin thrown from the crowd at the Etihad

The goal came from a free-kick awarded by referee Martin Atkinson for Carlos Tevez’s foul on Rafael da Silva.

At first it was thought that Barry
had clashed with his manager Roberto Mancini as he left the pitch at
full time, but the City boss confirmed his player was unhappy with the
officials.

‘The referee and linesmen made some mistakes today,’ remarked Mancini after the game. ‘I don’t know what Gareth said.’

After receiving Atkinson’s report the
FA issued a statement that read: ‘Manchester City’s Gareth Barry has
been charged by the FA for a breach of its Rule E3 in that he used
abusive and/or insulting words towards a match official following the
Manchester City v Manchester United game on Sunday 9 December 2012.’

As the fall-out from Sunday’s derby
continued, a 15-year-old boy was arrested by police investigating a
racist tweet sent to Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand. He was
later bailed pending further enquiries.

Police are still trying to identify
the fan who threw a coin at Ferdinand as he celebrated United’s late
goal, cutting the defender above the left eye.

Another supporter, one of nine people
charged over a variety of offences committed on the day, had to be
restrained by City goalkeeper Joe Hart after he ran on to the pitch and
tried to confront Ferdinand.

Gareth Barry charged over foul and abusive language after Manchester derby

Manchester mayhem goes on as Barry is charged for abusing referee during controversial derby… and is Clattenburg back at centre of another storm

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UPDATED:

12:07 GMT, 11 December 2012

Gareth Barry has been charged by the FA with verbally abusing a match official as the after-shock of Sunday’s tempestuous Manchester derby continues to rumble on.

It is understood that the Manchester City midfielder aimed his comments at one of referee Martin Atkinson’s assistants or fourth official Mark Clattenburg as he left the pitch after Robin van Persie’s injury-time strike gave United a dramatic 3-2 victory. The goal came from a free-kick controversially awarded by Atkinson when Carlos Tevez was adjudged to have fouled Rafael Da Silva.

At first it was thought that Barry had clashed with his manager Roberto Mancini as he left the pitch at full-time, but the City boss confirmed that his player was unhappy with the officials.

Blue Sunday: Gareth Barry (left) reflects on the Manchester derby defeat to rivals United

Blue Sunday: Gareth Barry (left) reflects on the Manchester derby defeat to rivals United

In the firing line: Fourth official Mark Clattenburg (right) with United manager Sir Alex Ferguson

In the firing line: Fourth official Mark Clattenburg (right) with United manager Sir Alex Ferguson

‘The referee and linesmen made some mistakes today,’ remarked Mancini after the game. ‘I don’t know what Gareth said.’

Barry
now faces a one-match ban if he is found guilty of the offence or accepts the charge. The 31-year-old
England midfielder has until 4pm on Thursday to respond to the charge.

An
FA statement read: ‘Manchester City’s Gareth Barry has been charged by
The FA for a breach of its Rule E3 in that he used abusive and/or
insulting words towards a match official following the Manchester City v
Manchester United game on Sunday 9 December 2012.’

Rio Ferdinand in training at Carrington on Tuesday

Robin van Persie (left) and Rio Ferdinand in training

No scar, Rio Ferdinand's face looked in far better shape during United's training session at their Carrington headquarters on Tuesday morning after he was last seen bleeding at the end of the Manchester derby

No scar Rio Ferdinand

Shocking: Ferdinand was left bloodied after being hit by a coin thrown from the crowd at the Etihad

Shocking: Ferdinand was left bloodied after being hit by a coin thrown from the crowd at the Etihad

Barry's charge is the latest episode in the fall-out from a controversial encounter which saw United score an added-time winner after their 2-0 lead had been pegged back in the second half.

Red Devils' defender Rio Ferdinand was hit with a coin as he celebrated his side's late goal and a fan had to be restrained by City goalkeeper Joe Hart after encroaching onto the pitch.

City have confirmed Matthew Stott, 21, has had his season ticket removed for the rest of the season and faces a lifetime ban if found guilty in court of a charge of pitch encroachment.

In a statement released by his solicitors Stott, a landscape gardener from Knutsford, said: 'I would like to apologise to all those affected by my actions, particularly Mr Ferdinand and the other players.

'I am extremely ashamed of my actions. I have let myself down, my family down, my fellow fans down and Manchester City Football Club.

'I intend to write personally to Mr Ferdinand to express my extreme regret and apologies and also apologise to Manchester United and their fans.'

Stott is now facing a possible banning order but his solicitor said he had never been in trouble before and was not the 'stereotypical drunken football fan'.

Police also charged eight other people, including for a racially aggravated public order offence, pitch encroachment, breach of football banning orders and other public offences.

Football Association chairman David Bernstein described the incidents as 'deplorable'.

'To see Rio Ferdinand with blood on his face is absolutely terrible,” he told Sky Sports News.

'I think it's disturbing that we're seeing a recurrence of these types of incidents.

'It's very unacceptable and has to be dealt with severely… in the strongest way we can.

'To my mind it's for the FA, the whole game of football and the authorities to work together to deal with this most severe matter.'

Chelsea star Eden Hazard caught up in anti-Israel riddle – Charles Sale

Chelsea forward Hazard the victim of anti-Israel riddle

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UPDATED:

22:30 GMT, 10 December 2012

Chelsea, whose season has been overshadowed by the John Terry and Mark Clattenburg racism issues, have been caught up in another sensitive controversy involving Eden Hazard's political views.

The Belgium forward was alleged to have put his signature to a statement signed by 62 footballers protesting against Israel hosting the European Under 21 Championship next year.

The pro-Palestine petition claims Israel staging the tournament following their military offensive in Gaza will be 'seen as a reward for actions that are contrary to sporting values'.

Accusation: Hazard was alleged to have put his name to a statement signed by 62 footballers

Accusation: Hazard was alleged to have put his name to a statement signed by 62 footballers

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Hazard's believed involvement in the protest led to 81 of Chelsea's Jewish supporters, including a number of high-profile lawyers, putting their names on an email to the club's chief executive Ron Gourlay outlining their concern.

The letter, copied to FA chairman David Bernstein, said it was inappropriate for Hazard to use his platform as a Chelsea footballer to air such sensitive political opinions and that he should apologise for the offence caused to some of the club's supporters.

However, it emerged yesterday that Hazard had not contributed to the petition. His agent John Bico said: 'Eden never speaks about his political opinions and he certainly never signed anything.'

Former Chelsea star Didier Drogba had earlier strongly denied endorsing UEFA stripping Israel of the tournament.

Drogba had been one of the marquee players listed along with Hazard as having done so on the website of former Tottenham striker Frederic Kanoute.

Strange choice of words

Considering the FA have always been so concerned about leaks coming out of Wembley, the wording of the advertisement for the new independent chairman to replace David Bernstein is surprising.

It states that the appointee is expected to be an ambassador for the FA and football, ensuring the organisation promotes exemplary corporate governance and 'transparency'.

Crerand set for 5 Live stay

BBC 5 Live intend to keep using football pundit Paddy Crerand, a former Manchester United player and enthusiastic flag-waver for the club, as an occasional contributor despite his astonishing rant on the breakfast show yesterday.

Anger: Former United star Crerand lost his temper on BBC 5 Live

Anger: Former United star Crerand lost his temper on BBC 5 Live

Crerand lost his temper at being asked about players celebrating in front of opposition fans. BBC 5 Live say they have no issue with the way the emotional Crerand expressed his views.

Henderson all smiles

Top racehorse trainer Nicky Henderson was in celebratory mode even before Sprinter Sacre's hugely impressive victory in Sandown's Tingle Creek Chase.

Henderson poured himself a large glass of red wine in the royal box at Sandown even as the six-year-old cantered to the start of the two-mile chase.

Celebration: Henderson poured himself a large glass of red in the royal box

Celebration: Henderson poured himself a large glass of red in the royal box

There was relief at the Jockey Club, meanwhile, after two races over the modified Grand National fences at Aintree saw no casualties.

The racecourse owners are looking for a 2million-a-year sponsor of the National to replace John Smith's, with the last resort being a bookmaker partner. Any deaths over the Liverpool jumps at the weekend would have made that very difficult to attain.

Usmanov foiled again

Arsenal shareholder Alisher Usmanov, ridiculously, may not be able to gain a seat on the board despite his 29.9 per cent holding.

But he has just been re-elected as president of the International Fencing Federation for another four years. Billionaire Usmanov's fencing objectives for his second term include 'provision of financial support to current sportspeople', which is exactly what a lot of Arsenal fans would like him to have the opportunity to do at the Emirates Stadium.

Talks in place over FFP

An extra Premier League chairmen's meeting has been arranged for next Tuesday in the hope of agreeing a strategy regarding financial fair-play regulations before the January transfer window.

However, such is the gulf between Arsenal, Manchester United, Tottenham and Sunderland – who are strongly in favour of FFP – and Manchester City, West Brom, Fulham and Aston Villa, who are just as adamantly opposed, that gaining the required support of 14 clubs before Christmas is unlikely.

John Obi Mikel given three match ban after Mark Clattenburg dressing room incident

Mikel banned for THREE matches after confronting Clattenburg in dressing room

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UPDATED:

17:48 GMT, 6 December 2012

John Obi Mikel has been hit with a three-match ban for his part in the Mark Clattenburg race row debacle.

The Chelsea midfielder ran into the referee's dressing room at the end of Chelsea's defeat against Manchester United in October and confronted him over an alleged racial slur.

Mikel has also been fined 60,000 after admitting the FA charge of using 'threatening and/or abusive and/or insulting words and/or behaviour'.

Ban: John Obi Mikel (right) has been punished after he ran into Mark Clattenburg's (centre) dressing room

Ban: John Obi Mikel (right) has been punished after he ran into Mark Clattenburg's (centre) dressing room

A police investigation into the incident collapsed because of a lack of evidence and subsequently an FA probe met the same fate.

The regulatory
commission's independent chairman, Christopher Quinlan QC, said the findings
showed at the time of the incident Mikel genuinely believed the referee had
racially abused him.

Were it not for that mitigating factor, he would have been received a significantly longer ban.

Ramires had told Mikel he heard Clattenburg calling him a 'monkey' and the incensed player sought out the referee after the match.

Mikel miss Saturday's fixture at Sunderland but will be available when Chelsea jet out for the Club World Cup in Japan next week.

Strong: Mikel has had a good season although he divides opinion among fans

Strong: Mikel has had a good season although he divides opinion among fans

His availability when the Blues
return from the Far East could be limited though, with the midfielder
due to meet up with Nigeria early in the new year for the African
Nations Cup.

New Chelsea boss Rafael Benitez might
have been preparing for the bad news by selecting Oriol Romeu ahead of
Mikel on Tuesday night.

The Spaniard has started twice under his stewardship and is regaining match fitness after a long period of inactivity.

David Luiz was also played in defensive
midfield in the latter parts of the Champions League match against
Danish opponents Nordsjaelland.

Back to fitness: Oriol Romeu has started twice under Rafael Benitez

Back to fitness: Oriol Romeu has started twice under Rafael Benitez

Mikel signed a new five-year contract at the club on Tuesday.

The 25-year-old midfielder committed his future to the European champions until 2017 – which will see him complete a total of 11 years at Stamford Bridge.

Mikel, who joined Chelsea in the summer of 2006 after controversially pulling out of a move to Manchester United, said: 'Chelsea seems like my home now because I have been here for over six years and I enjoy my time here.

'I come into the training ground every day to work and I value my time there. I am happy and want to keep going and win trophies for this club.'

Mikel was a key player in Chelsea's
Champions League triumph last season, performing exceptionally in the
final against Bayern Munich, and has also won one Barclays Premier
League title, four FA Cups and a League Cup.

Big game player: Mikel has won several trophies with Chelsea

Big game player: Mikel has won several trophies with Chelsea

He added: 'I have basically won everything with Chelsea and those years have been really special for me, winning trophies with big names like Didier Drogba, John Terry and Frank Lampard who have had very long Chelsea careers.

'Last season, to win the Champions League was even more special and I hope these next five years will bring even more success and I can win trophies with the new players we have here.

'Being 25, I think I am now hitting my peak but as a player you want to improve every day and there is still room for that.

'I want to learn from the players and the manager and I just want to keep going.'