Tag Archives: competition

Dortmund hoping Champions League history repeats itself

Dortmund hoping history repeats itself as they take on Malaga for place in Champions League semi-finals

By
Darren Witcoop

PUBLISHED:

12:55 GMT, 3 April 2013

|

UPDATED:

13:02 GMT, 3 April 2013

Borussia Dortmund will still remain dark horses to win the Champions League, but the omens might just be in their favour if they can progress beyond Malaga in the quarter-final showdown.

Dortmund have given up the ghost retaining the Bundesliga title with runaway leaders Bayern Munich destined for the trophy.

But in Europe, it is a different matter all together.

Star man: Dortmund striker Robert Lewandowski helped knock out Shakhtar Donetsk in the last-16 tie

Star man: Dortmund striker Robert Lewandowski helped knock out Shakhtar Donetsk in the last-16 tie

Masked man: Dortmund defender Marcel Schmelzer will be forced to wear a mask in Malaga

Masked man: Dortmund defender Marcel Schmelzer will be forced to wear a mask in Malaga

There is little doubt Dortmund, who have already knocked out Manchester City, are an emerging team under highly-rated manager Juergen Klopp.

Now Malaga, another of the season's surprise packages, stand in their way of a semi-final place.

Dortmund's only ever win in Spain came in the same season when they won Europe's biggest club competition in 1997.

A coincidence or destiny Only time will tell.

No panic: Dortmund coach Juergen Klopp and Brazilian defender Felipe Santana are in relaxed mood ahead of the last-four tie

No panic: Dortmund coach Juergen Klopp and Brazilian defender Felipe Santana are in relaxed mood ahead of the last-four tie

But Klopp claims Dortmund's 2-1 bruising win over Stuttgart on the weekend, which took its toll on his players, was ideal preparation for the first-leg challenge that lies ahead.

'We got manhandled', he said.

'At times I was worried about the health of my players.

'But it was a good preparation for the Champions League game in Malaga, because they fly into challenges with just as much intensity.'

Despite their underdog tag, Malaga, the Qatari-backed side who were in Spain's Second Division just five years ago, will not just roll over.

Top job: Manuel Pellegrini has defied the odds to lead Malaga into the quarter-finals

Top job: Manuel Pellegrini has defied the odds to lead Malaga into the quarter-finals

The money might have dried up at this cash-strapped club but they have still punched above their weight this season.

As well as reaching the last eight of the Champions League, they are also in the hunt for a top-four finish in La Liga although UEFA have banned them from playing European football next season due to outstanding debts.

'Nobody gave us a chance at the start and yet the players have responded so well,” said coach Manuel Pellegrini.

'We eliminated Porto and that represented a huge achievement for the side. We don't want our run to end here.'

Prized possession: Isco is wanted by Europe's leading clubs

Prized possession: Isco is wanted by Europe's leading clubs

Dortmund will be favourites to progress but they have been hit with injuries.

Marcel Schmelzer will need a face-mask but is likely to play, despite breaking his nose against Stuttgart.

Jakub Blaszczykowski has travelled but is struggling to overcome a groin injury.

Midfielders Sven Bender and Kevin Grosskreutz (ankle) are doubts and Mats Hummels is certain to miss out.

Robert Lewandowski, who has scored 13 goals in as many games, will lead the line and will be supported by Mario Goetze and Marco Reus.

In contrast, Malaga have few injury worries.

Portuguese winger Eliseu has been ruled out with a knee ligament injury but defender Diego Lugano is likely to return.

Ignacio Camacho and Duda are also back in contention after serving suspensions and star striker Isco will start.

Newcastle"s Yohan Cabaye talks about his battle with depression

Cabaye reveals battle with depression and how words from Wilkinson and Nadal helped him bounce back

. It was then depression caught up with him.

Cabaye told L’Equipe: ‘Depression I am not afraid to say that. It was that.

Back to his best: Yohan Cabaye has struggled to recapture his brilliant first year, until now

Back to his best: Yohan Cabaye has struggled to recapture his brilliant first year, until now

‘I was reassured reading the books of Jonny Wilkinson and Rafael Nadal, who both talked about the same thing. They talked about post competition depression and the need to have a break.

‘Euro 2012 was the first big international competition I had played. It is completely different than what you could experience in daily life with your club.

‘My season was long in a league where the pace is higher than in Le Championnat. I started with Newcastle early in July 2011 and finished late in June 2012 and, for the very first time, I didn’t have any winter break so then to resume in July 2012, it was very difficult.

Fatigue: Cabaye suffered the effects of the domestic season when he joined up with France for Euro 2012

Fatigue: Cabaye suffered the effects of the domestic season when he joined up with France for Euro 2012

'Maybe it is difficult to start again after a big competition such as the Euros, but my body didn’t allow me to do what I wanted to do.

‘On a morning when I woke up, I could still feel tiredness. I wanted to think about something else rather than football.’

Cabaye believes that rather than a curse, his groin injury at the end of last year helped reignite his time at Newcastle.

‘I am lucky to earn a living with my passion, but it was the right moment for a break. So my groin injury at the end of the year was finally not such a bad thing. Maybe that is why I was back earlier than expected.

Help: Books by Jonny Wilkinson and Rafael Nadal helped Cabaye combat his depression

Help: Books by Jonny Wilkinson and Rafael Nadal helped Cabaye combat his depression

Help: Books by Jonny Wilkinson and Rafael Nadal helped Cabaye combat his depression

‘I asked myself a lot of questions. As long as you didn’t experience it (depression) you cannot understand. But I was not worried.

‘My injury allowed me to have some rest, meet my family and friends in Lille. When I was back in Newcastle in December I knew I felt better.’

Alex Ferguson fined 8,500 and Nani banned for one match after Real Madrid red card

Fergie handed 8.5k fine for refusing to speak and Nani banned for one match for red card which led to Champions League exit

By
Graeme Yorke

PUBLISHED:

16:11 GMT, 22 March 2013

|

UPDATED:

16:16 GMT, 22 March 2013

Sir Alex Ferguson has been fined 8,500 for refusing to speak to the media after Manchester United's Champions League defeat to Real Madrid.

According to his assistant Mike Phelan, Ferguson was 'too distraught' to fulfil his media commitments after United went out of Europe 3-2 on aggregate following Turkish referee Cuneyt Cakir's controversial decision to show Nani a straight red card in the second half.

The Portugal winger was also banned for one match by UEFA yesterday, although he could have faced a three-game suspension if a disciplinary commission had deemed his challenge on Madrid defender Alvaro Arbeloa to be violent conduct.

Anger: Ferguson remonstrates with the fourth official after Nani's red card

Anger: Ferguson remonstrates with the fourth official after Nani's red card

A statement read: 'Manchester United
FC midfield player Nani has been suspended for one match by UEFA's
Control and Disciplinary Body, following the red card he received at the
UEFA Champions League round of 16 second leg against Real Madrid CF at
Old Trafford on 5 March.

'Manchester United head coach Sir Alex
Ferguson has been fined €10,000 for non-fulfilment of the post-match
media obligations (Annex III, paras 2.6 and 2.7 of the competition
regulations) at the same match.'

His No 2 Mike Phelan revealed at the time that the manager was too 'distraught' to attend the interviews.

Off you go: Nani was sent off for this innocuous challenge on Alvaro Arbeloa

Off you go: Nani was sent off for this innocuous challenge on Alvaro Arbeloa

Off you go: Nani was sent off for this innocuous challenge on Alvaro Arbeloa

Liverpool won"t sell Luis Suarez this summer

Suarez is going nowhere, vow Liverpool despite hitman warning he would 'welcome' talks with Champions League clubs

By
Charlie Skillen

PUBLISHED:

20:04 GMT, 20 March 2013

|

UPDATED:

10:19 GMT, 21 March 2013

Liverpool have 'no desire' to sell Luis Suarez, according to managing director Ian Ayre.

Suarez’s future at Anfield has made headlines this morning after it was reported he would be willing to talk with other clubs following an interview in his native Uruguay.

Ayre has, however, played down any notion the striker may be about to leave the Reds after signing a four-year deal last August.

VIDEO: SCROLL DOWN TO WATCH THE LATEST LUIS SUAREZ NEWS

Club and country: Suarez (left) in Uruguay training under pressure from Liverpool teammate Sebastian Coates

Club and country: Suarez (left) in Uruguay training under pressure from Liverpool teammate Sebastian Coates

Shaping up: Suarez admitted he would consider a summer move to a club in the Champions League

Shaping up: Suarez admitted he would consider a summer move to a club in the Champions League

Table

'You can read into the comments – it was given in his native language so I think maybe it was a bit lost in translation,' Ayre told BBC Radio Five Live.

'We’ve been consistent with Luis. Last summer he signed a new four-year contract and we have no desire to sell Luis. He is a fantastic player and a great contributor to our team.

'We’ve been very honest with him and he’s been very honest with us.
Suarez is under contract at Anfield until 2017, but in the interview hinted he could be tempted by a big-money move at the end of the season.

Disappointing: Suarez played in Liverpool's 3-1 defeat by struggling Southampton on Saturday

Disappointing: Suarez played in Liverpool's 3-1 defeat by struggling Southampton on Saturday

'I am very happy at Liverpool but you
never know in football,' Suarez said ahead of his international side's
World Cup qualifier with Paraguay, as reported in the Liverpool Echo.

'If another team comes around with
more prospects of competing in international club competition games,
which is willing to have me, they are welcome.

'We would talk to the club, we would see if I want to go, if I don’t want to go.'

Philosophy: Manager Brendan Rodgers has tried to implement his possession-based style at Liverpool

Philosophy: Manager Brendan Rodgers has tried to implement his possession-based style at Liverpool

However, Suarez also recognised
Liverpool's strengths, including manager Brendan Rodgers' footballing
philosophy, which he hopes to see propel the club further next year.

Rodgers won plaudits for his Swansea
side's passing style last season, and has attempted to implement the
same structure at Anfield.

'A player’s ambition is always there, the ambition of wanting to play in elite teams is always there,' said Suarez.

'I’m in a world-class team, an elite team like Liverpool.

'We have to realise we have a new
manager who is imposing a philosophy and a way of playing that the
players are adapting to as best we can.

'We hope that it will bear fruit next year.'

Watch the latest Luis Suarez news

Get Adobe Flash player addCustomPlayer('72erfgnqd9fb1jgkie2jvi8u7', '9776e735a37743b9b7b7d7ff11b21603', 'f9fsneyrha7h16fk1zbdfkro9', 636, 438, 'perf72erfgnqd9fb1jgkie2jvi8u7-f9fsneyrha7h16fk1zbdfkro9', 'eplayer17');

Furious Man United fans turn on Roy Keane

Furious Man United fans turn on Keane after former captain claims Nani red card was 'right decision'

By
David Kent

PUBLISHED:

23:08 GMT, 5 March 2013

|

UPDATED:

06:09 GMT, 6 March 2013

Manchester United fans have reacted furiously after Roy Keane claimed the decision to send off Nani in the Champions League clash with Real Madrid was the right one.

United fans on Twitter have described Keane as 'bitter' and claim to have 'lost respect' for the former Old Trafford hero.

Keane's comments came on ITV in the moments after the match which saw his former side kicked out of Europe's elite competition by a goal from Cristiano Ronaldo.

Right decision: United fans are furious their former captain failed to support the club

Right decision: United fans are furious their former captain failed to support the club

The turning point of the match came midway through the second half when Nani was shown a straight red for a clumsy challenge on Alvaro Arbeloa.

The Portugal international appeared to be watching high ball land and his leg hit the Madrid player in his midriff.

United boss Sir Alex Ferguson was apoplectic on the touchline, but Keane believes Turkish referee Cuneyt Cakir made the right decision.

He said: 'I think the referee has actually made the right call. Everyone's upset about it and it's slightly unlucky, but it's dangerous play. Whether he meant it or not is irrelevant.

'It's dangerous play – it's a red card.

'You have to be aware of other players on the pitch. Does he think he's going to have 20 yards to himself

'Whether it's [a brave decision] or not, it's the right decision. Whether he meant it or not doesn't matter.

'Nani's a quick boy to go down anyway. He's not the bravest player on the planet.'

Keane insisted the referee had carefully considered his decision.

Marching orders: Nani was sent off for this challenge during the second half

Marching orders: Nani was sent off for this challenge during the second half

Marching orders: Nani was sent off for this challenge during the second half

He added: 'It doesn't matter if he
knows there's somebody there or not, it's irrelevant. I don't think the
referee actually made the decision because he waited a couple of minutes
while the player was getting treatment.

'I think it might have been the assistant that made the decision, and I actually think he's made the right call.

'We always say referees are very quick to make decisions – he waited a couple of minutes.

'Any time I was sent off in my career
I always thought, “did I give the referee chance to send me off” And
if the answer is yes, then it's out of your hands.'

The defeat leaves United battling on
two fronts for domestic silverware, but Keane may not be welcome at the
home of the Barclays League leaders in the wake of his comments.

One Twitter user said: 'Worst thing
to come out of tonight is Roy Keane's dirty comments, absolutely quality
for us as a player but what a bitter fella.'

Another added: 'The last bit of respect I had for Roy Keane has now well and truly gone.'

No love lost: Fergie was furious with the referee over the decision to send Nani off

No love lost: Fergie was furious with the referee over the decision to send Nani off

No love lost: Fergie was furious with the referee over the decision to send Nani off

Despite
a highly successful working career together, Keane has blasted his
former boss on a number of occasions since his departure in November
2005.

Keane was unhappy with the way he was ushered out of Old Trafford eight years ago.
An
interview with MUTV in which he was critical of some of his Manchester
United team-mates was given as a reason for his departure after
12-and-a-half years.

Asked if he could envisage a time
when he would have a good relationship with the Scot again, Keane told
The Sun: 'I wouldn’t have thought so, no. He’s a busy man and I’m fairly
busy.

'I said before I
was disappointed the way I was treated at the end, nobody will change
that. But that doesn’t mean to say I’m bitter and twisted towards Man
United. Far from it.

'I can go back there, I just wouldn’t be comfortable so that’s my choice.'

Keane
also told the Sunday Times: 'People say Ferguson always does what is
right for Man United. I don’t think he does. I think he does what is
right for him.'

Chelsea are the world"s best team according to statistics

REVEALED: Chelsea are the best team in the world… the news that will get United and City fired up

and February 28 2013, have produced some results that seem bizarre.

Another accolade: Chelsea should enjoy being No 1 in the world while it lasts

Another accolade: Chelsea should enjoy being No 1 in the world while it lasts

In second place are Atletico Madrid and third, Chelsea's vanquished Champions League final opponents Bayern Munich.

Fourth are Club World Cup champions Corinthians, while the mighty Barcelona are down in fifth.

The rankings are calculated by including results from national league matches, continental and intercontinental competitions and the most important national cup competition, ignoring results before the last 16 phase.

Nothing special: Cristiano Ronaldo and his friends are down in seventh

Nothing special: Cristiano Ronaldo and his friends are down in seventh

Results are awarded points depending on the level of competition. A draw in a national league game is worth two points and a win is four.

Champions League draws and wins are worth seven and 14 respectively, while Club World Cup semi-finals are worth the same.

A win in the Club World Cup final is worth 21 points – which explains how high up Corinthians are.

Lowly: Manchester United are only 19th, according to these bizarre rankings

Lowly: Manchester United are only 19th, according to these bizarre rankings

Celtic are level with Manchester United in 19th, while Liverpool are 25th, Tottenham 37th and Arsenal 50th.

Premier League Champions Manchester City languish in 56th, largely because of their shoddy Champions League showings.

Off target: Man City are low down after poor European showings

Off target: Man City are low down after poor European showings

The top 20 sides in the world

1. Chelsea (307)
2. Atletico Madrid (304)
3. Bayern Munich (292)
4. Corinthians (287)
5. Barcelona (283)
6. Boca Juniors (281)
7. Real Madrid (277)
8. Juventus (241)
9. Inter Milan (234)
10. Sao Paulo (230)
11. Universidad de Chile Santiago (223)
12. Fluminense (222)
13. Basel (220)
14. Fenerbahce (216)
= Lazio
16. Dortmund (215)
17. Lyon (214)
18. PSG (210)
19. Manchester United (205)
= Club Libertad Asuncion
= Celtic

Other English sides in the top 100

25. Liverpool (200)
37. Tottenham (186)
50. Arsenal (169)
56. Man City (161)
65. Newcastle (152)

Top 400 teams here

Ben Foster ends England exile

Foster ends England exile by giving Hodgson green light to pick him again

By
Neil Moxley

PUBLISHED:

11:42 GMT, 28 February 2013

|

UPDATED:

16:06 GMT, 28 February 2013

Ben Foster has ended his England exile and decided to return to the national team squad at the request of England manager Roy Hodgson.

The West Brom goalkeeper has told Hodgson that he is ready to come back for the World Cup qualifiers against San Marino and Montenegro.

Former Albion boss Hodgson is struggling to find top-class competition for Joe Hart and will be boosted by the news that a man he knows well from the year they spent together at The Hawthorns last season is ready to play international football again.

On the cards Foster is in line for an England return against San Marino and Montenegro, having left the national set-up (below) in 2011

On the cards Foster is in line for an England return against San Marino and Montenegro, having left the national set-up (below) in 2011

Foster

For the last England game, the 2-1 friendly win over Brazil, Hodgson only named two goalkeepers in his squad, Hart and Jack Butland.

Foster announced towards the end of the 2010-11 campaign, when he was still at Birmingham City, that he was withdrawing from the international scene because of injury concerns.

His last game was a 2-1 defeat by France in November 2010.

Two's too few: England only named goalkeepers Joe Hart and Jack Butland (below) in their squad against Italy

Two's too few: England only named goalkeepers Joe Hart and Jack Butland (below) in their squad against Italy

Jack Butland against Italy

The former Manchester United keeper suffers from groin problems and earlier this season underwent surgery to cure the nagging issue.

However, since returning he has been in superb form, saving a penalty from Steven Gerrard during West Brom's 2-0 victory over Liverpool.

He has been a massive factor in Albion's push for a Europa League spot.

Old guard: Hodgson managed Foster during his spell at The Hawthorns

Old guard: Hodgson managed Foster during his spell at The Hawthorns

Arsene Wenger rages after FA Cup defeat: "Don"t insult my players"

Wenger on the warpath: Raging Arsenal boss comes out fighting and tells critics 'don't insult my players' despite FA Cup humiliation

PUBLISHED:

12:41 GMT, 18 February 2013

|

UPDATED:

15:55 GMT, 18 February 2013

Arsene Wenger has launched an impassioned defence of his team and tactics in the wake of Arsenal's humiliating FA Cup defeat by Blackburn Rovers.

Wenger couldn't hide his anger during a press conference on Monday morning, but is coming under increasing pressure as the club face an eighth successive year without silverware.

The Arsenal manager has defended his team selection and laughed at the suggestion he isn't taking the world's oldest club knockout competition seriously.

Scroll down to watch the video…

Anger: Arsene Wenger attacked his critics at a press conference yesterday

Anger: Arsene Wenger attacked his critics at a press conference yesterday

Wenger press conference

Wenger press conference

Wenger said: 'I've been accused of not taking the FA Cup seriously. I've won it four times. Tell me who has won it more than me. Tell me, one name.

'I've been accused of not putting out a strong enough team – this is an insult to those who started the game, 11 internationals.'

Arsenal face a huge task to progress
into the quarter-finals of Europe's elite competition with last year's
beaten finalists standing in their way.

The players looked downcast as they arrived for training on Monday morning at the club's London Colney base, knowing that anything other than victory in the Champions League on Tuesday night against Bayern Munich would effectively end their season.

Under fire: Wenger has defended his record in the competition - despite leaving some key stars on the bench

Under fire: Wenger has defended his record in the competition - despite leaving some key stars on the bench

Under fire: Wenger has defended his record in the competition – despite leaving some key stars on the bench

Cheer up! Mikel Arteta leads a group of players onto the training pitch including Olivier Giroud, Francis Coquelin and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain

Cheer up! Mikel Arteta leads a group of players onto the training pitch including Olivier Giroud, Francis Coquelin and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain

But Wenger has impressed on his players that they must put the defeat by Rovers behind them, and has also denied reports that the club are about to hand him a new two-year deal.

He said: 'That is the wrong information and I work for 16 years in England and I think I deserve a bit more credit than wrong information that has only one intention: to harm,' the Arsenal boss said.

'If it is good information which comes from nowhere it is all right, but this is wrong information that comes from nowhere and it is completely wrong.'

Wenger then became involved in a heated exchange with a journalist, adding: 'I look at you not because you give information, I do not know if it is you, I do not know where the information comes from. Why do you look at me I just thought you had given this information out.

Double trouble: Wenger with Jack Wilshere

Double trouble: Wenger with Jack Wilshere

'Here this is a pre-match conference
for the Champions League, if you want to talk about Saturday, that press
conference has been made after the game.

'Can we get some questions about tomorrow's game, that would be very nice.'

Wenger also confirmed Per Mertesacker is back in the matchday squad but Laurent Koscielny is unlikely to return for the clash at the Emirates.

Meanwhile, Mikael Silvestre, whom Wenger
signed from Manchester United in 2008 and made 43 appearances in the
Gunners’ defence, tweeted a tongue-in-cheek picture of an empty Arsenal
trophy cabinet, calling on Patrick Vieira to return to the club to help
his former manager.

Isolated: Wenger is under fire as Arsenal look to go another season without silverware

Isolated: Wenger is under fire as Arsenal look to go another season without silverware

All in it together: Arsenal's players train on Monday

All in it together: Arsenal's players train on Monday

Vieira, who played 406 games for the club over nine seasons, is rumoured to be the favourite to replace Arsenal’s head of youth development Liam Brady.

Silvestre said: '@OfficialVieira go back to London and give Arsene a hand bro ! #rolemodele #legend #AFC #mcfc'

Silvestre, 35, who will play for either the Portland Timbers or Seattle Sounders in the upcoming MLS season, pointed to the fact that Arsenal have not won a trophy since moving to the Emirates Stadium from Highbury in 2006.

Rovers revenge: Blackburn dumped Arsenal out of the FA Cup - 12 months after they were beaten 7-1 at the Emirates

Rovers revenge: Blackburn dumped Arsenal out of the FA Cup – 12 months after they were beaten 7-1 at the Emirates

Rovers revenge: Blackburn dumped Arsenal out of the FA Cup - 12 months after they were beaten 7-1 at the Emirates

Fans replied angrily to the
defender’s message, with one Twitter user posting: 'Thanks for all your
help in addressing that during your time at the club Mikael, one of our
worst signings ever.'

Another wrote: 'For someone who was
so bad when playing for Arsenal, you've really got some nerve posting
that. Disrespectful fool.'

Vieira is currently in a football development role at Manchester City, where he ended his career in 2011.

Mikael Silvestre

VIDEO: Heated press conference with Wenger…

Play Video

Loading video…

DM.has('rcpv37443','BC',
'renderConfig' :

'css' : “videoplayer-large”,
'autoplay' : false,
'muted' : false,
'adUrl' : “http://pubads.g.doubleclick.net/gampad/adssz=8×8&iu=%2F7023%2Fdm.video%2Fdm_video_homehp&ciu_szs=&impl=s&gdfp_req=1&env=vp&output=xml_vast2&unviewed_position_start=1&url=[referrer_url]&correlator=[timestamp]”,
'playerId' : “1989148206001”,
'playerKey' : “AQ~~,AAAAAFSL1bg~,CmS1EFtcMWELN_eSE9A7gpcGWF5XAVmI”,
'objId' : “rcpv37443”,
'videoPlayer' : “2173873619001”,
'width' : 636,
'height' : 358,
'linkBaseURL' : “http://www.dailymail.co.uk/home/index.html”

});

London Welsh 25 Sale 26: Danny Cipriani edges out Gavin Henson in relegation battle

London Welsh 25 Sale 26: Cipriani comes edges out Henson in relegation battle

By
Rob Wildman

PUBLISHED:

17:57 GMT, 17 February 2013

|

UPDATED:

00:06 GMT, 18 February 2013

Gavin versus Danny proved to be an evenly-fought sideshow at the Kassam Stadium on Sunday in a raw relegation battle.

Sale edged the tussle thanks to tries either side of half-time which helped them to only their fourth Premiership win of the season.

If their careers had gone to plan Gavin Henson and Danny Cipriani would have been preparing for Six Nations games rather than being rival club fly halves as they attempt to rebuild careers.

Fluency: Sale's Danny Cipriani was the linchpin in a vital win for the Sharks over their fellow relegation strugglers

Fluency: Sale's Danny Cipriani was the linchpin in a vital win for the Sharks over their fellow strugglers

Both enjoyed impressive games. Henson
took the London Welsh sponsor’s man-of-the-match award, but it was
Cipriani’s Sale who emerged victorious in a fraught, penalty–strewn
game.

‘Relief, that’s the best word,’ said
Steve Diamond, Sale’s director of rugby. ‘But we are still bottom and
have Harlequins and Leicester to come in the next two weeks so we are
not out of the mire.’

Yet Sale are daring to hope at the
bottom of the 12-team competition. This was a second successive win,
following a similar triumph over Exeter, and four points here put them a
point behind 11th-placed London Irish and three off Welsh.

Battle: London Welsh's Jonathan Mills is tackled by Sale Sharks' Dan Baird

Battle: London Welsh's Jonathan Mills is tackled by Sale Sharks' Dan Baird

And there is
no doubting that in Cipriani they have an attacking No 10 who could yet
lead them to safety.

He helped make a crucial try for
scrum-half Will Cliff just before half-time, producing the acceleration
and distribution, alongside wing Charlie Amesbury, which gained him
England recognition.

He also kicked 13 points before being
replaced by Nick Macleod who is considered to be more dependable and a
better defender for such tense finales.

Offload: Sale's Danny Cipriani passes under the attention of London Welsh's Adam Balding

Offload: Sale's Danny Cipriani passes under the attention of London Welsh's Adam Balding

Henson, playing his first full game in
three months due to injury, also produced play that brought back
memories of his best days for Wales. He landed one long-distance penalty
attempt and set up wing Phil Mackenzie for his team’s only try in the
48th minute.

It was a beautifully-timed pass by
Henson whose conversion put Welsh 22-20 ahead. He then banged over a
second penalty to increase the lead to 25-20 only for Cipriani to reply
in the 60th minute.

It was Cipriani’s last contribution,
Macleod kicking the penalty nine minutes from time which put his team a
decisive 26-25 ahead.

Strike: Gavin Henson scored eight points for Welsh, but that was not enough

Strike: Gavin Henson scored eight points for Welsh, but that was not enough

Stopped: London Welsh's Julio Cabello falls short of the line as Welsh looked to get a late winner

Stopped: London Welsh's Julio Cabello falls short of the line as Welsh looked to get a late winner

Welsh’s head coach Lyn Jones said: ‘We
just did not take our chances when we had them.’ After Cipriani put
Sale ahead in the ninth minute, Welsh fed off Sale’s poor discipline
for Alex Davies to kick three penalty goals followed by Henson’s
long-distance toe-bunger.

But it was a series of rash Welsh errors which allowed Sale back.

Cipriani kicked another penalty and then escaped down the right, with Amesbury, to make Cliff’s try

Sale continued on the attack after the
break and Dan Braid, an impressive arrival from New Zealand, scampered
in for the second try.

Welsh regained the lead when Henson made Mackenzie’s try but Sale held their nerve.

Five points: Phil MacKenzie of London Welsh dives over to score their only try of the match

Five points: Phil MacKenzie of London Welsh dives over to score their only try of the match

Brendan Rodgers claims Luis Suarez will not leave Liverpool

Suarez isn't going anywhere, vows Rodgers as Liverpool chase European place

By
Andy Hampson, Press Association

PUBLISHED:

10:23 GMT, 26 January 2013

|

UPDATED:

10:23 GMT, 26 January 2013

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has no concerns about star striker Luis Suarez's commitment to the club.

The Uruguay international is enjoying an outstanding season having scored 20 goals for the Anfield outfit.

That has led to speculation that other clubs could move in for the 40million-rated forward if the Reds' absence from the Champions League continues.

Staying put: Brendan Rodgers says his star striker Luis Suarez will remain at Anfield even if they miss out on the Champions League

Staying put: Brendan Rodgers says his star striker Luis Suarez will remain at Anfield even if they miss out on the Champions League

Liverpool are currently seventh in the Barclays Premier League and facing a battle to regain a place in Europe's elite competition.

But Rodgers is confident Suarez shares his vision for the club and does not believe the 26-year-old's future on Merseyside depends on whether they qualify or not.

Don't walk away: Rodgers says he has no reason to doubt Suarez's commitment, despite rumours of a big money move

Don't walk away: Rodgers says he has no reason to doubt Suarez's commitment, despite rumours of a big money move

Rodgers said: 'Luis had a terrific season last season and he had an opportunity to leave in the summer, and probably would have had a ready-made excuse with a new manager coming in, but he never did.

'He committed to the club. He sees the vision going forward, and he believes in that.

'He knows it won't happen overnight. He has had a brilliant season with 20 goals until now, and hopefully there are many more to come.'

Sharp shooter: Suarez already has 20 goals this season

Sharp shooter: Suarez already has 20 goals this season

Suarez signed a long-term contract at Anfield in August.

Liverpool face a big week with an FA Cup fourth-round tie at Oldham followed by Premier League away trips to Arsenal and Manchester City.

Rodgers is determined to keep firing on all fronts.

He said: 'When you are a club like this you are judged on your trophies, and we want to improve in the league as well.'